According to Navistar Defense Ltd., the British Ministry of Defence has finalized an agreement to purchase 262 International-brand tactical wheeled vehicles as well as parts and support estimated at $180 million to help it respond to "evolving threats in Afghanistan."

The International MXT-based "Husky" units were procured through the U.K.'s Tactical Support Vehicle (TSV) program. These lighter, more mobile vehicles are designed to navigate the rough Afghan terrain, while offering added protection from ballistics fire, mines and Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs), said Navistar Defense.

The Husky, which is the medium TSV variant, will be procured for Afghanistan missions in three vehicle types: patrol, ambulance and command vehicle. The vehicle is designed to fill a gap that exists between smaller traditional armored 4x4s and the larger class of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

Navistar Defense is responsible for delivering a fully integrated, mission-ready vehicle and has contracted U.K.-based Dytecna to integrate TSV Husky units with U.K.-specific communications and other systems. The company has also teamed with Plasan, which the OEM said will provide the "survivability solution" for the vehicle.

"Navistar leverages its existing assets to effectively aid allied forces in staying ahead of evolving threats," said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. "Our flexible MXT platform paired with Navistar's 100 years of manufacturing, engineering and sustainment expertise allow us to rapidly modify and deliver vehicles. By working with Dytecna and Plasan, we also continue to expand our offerings to provide enhanced throughput and quality."

Assembly of the TSV Husky units will occur at the company's West Point, MS, assembly plant, which has produced approximately 6,000 International MaxxPro MRAP vehicles. TSV Husky units will be powered by MaxxForce D 6.0 L V8 engines. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second half of 2009.

"It is an honor to provide TSV Husky units to one of our country's closest allies," said Massicotte. "Navistar is dedicated to supporting the United Kingdom and other NATO countries and we will continue to respond to allied urgent requirements."

The TSV contract award follows Navistar Defense's selection in October as a finalist to compete for the contract to replace the British military's light tactical wheeled vehicle fleet. The OEM will provide MXT-based vehicles for testing and trials in 2009 to replace a portion of the Royal Army's fleet, which currently includes Land Rover, Wolf, Reynolds Boughton RB-44 and Pinzgauer vehicles.