MRAPs on the move
June 13, 2008
A strategic partnership between Letterkenny Army Depot and BAE Systems is a proven win-win for Soldiers. Government, industry and the community have achieved milestones building RG33s for the warfighter.
The RG33 Series is the most advanced line of mine-protected vehicles, offering more volume under armor than any other mine-protected vehicle and incorporating the latest designs protecting against Improvised Explosive Devices.
The highly survivable RG33 incorporates a V-shaped hull design and advanced armor recipe that leverages knowledge gained in recent and ongoing conflicts.
The RG33 Series is available in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations. The advanced mine-protected vehicles are deployed as Infantry Carriers, Ambulance Vehicles, Command and Control Convoy Escort, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and other roles.
BAE Systems was awarded a contract from the US Marine Corps to provide RG33 Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles in several configurations.
Production for the RG33 is performed at Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pa., and at other facilities around the nation. BAE Systems recently shut down their RG33 line in York, Pa., and moved all work to Letterkenny Army Depot.
The Governor's Action Team of Pennsylvania offered BAE $4.3 million in the form of an opportunity grant and job creation tax credits.
A World War II era brick warehouse at Letterkenny was refurbished with new cranes, fans and steel beams to accomplish this additional workload. Suppliers deliver parts to Letterkenny where crews in three assembly lines assemble them.
Letterkenny and BAE Systems continue to rush orders for MRAPS. Recently BAE needed to make 10 vehicles (MRAPs) a day rather than the usual four a day. Workers were moved from another production area to the MRAP line to accommodate this need.
"The flexibility of the workforce at Letterkenny allows us to do that. We've been creative. The union has been very supportive and we work together," said Col. Steven Shapiro, Letterkenny commander.
A ceremony was held in the MRAP production facility at Letterkenny Army Depot May 20. BAE Systems hosted the ceremony to celebrate the roll-out of the 1,000th RG33 vehicle.
Matt Riddle, vice president of BAE's wheeled vehicle programs, said, "our success demonstrates what government, industry and community can achieve when they pull together. This job isn't about a pay check, it's about protecting those who protect us."