Idex 2015: Oshkosh expects sales to shift towards Middle East

Oshkosh Defense, a unit of the US-based Oshkosh Corporation, expects its share of revenue from the Middle East to grow to almost 45 per cent .

The company was in Abu Dhabi this week at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference, where it introduced the mine-resistant M-ATV tactical ambulance and showcased its unmanned ground vehicle technology.

The Middle East accounts for about 35 per cent of the company’s latest revenue figures, said John Urias, the president of Oshkosh Defense. “I would say it could grow to be as high as 40 to 45 per cent” in the current fiscal year.

Oshkosh Corp, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, began its financial calendar on October 1.

In 2013, the UAE signed a deal with Oshkosh to purchase 750 M-ATVs that are popular with the US military in Afghanistan.

“We delivered those 750 vehicles in 13 months and they were a very impressive success,” said Mr Urias.

Since then, Oshkosh Defense has developed eight variants of its M-ATV.

“We don’t have any orders for those yet, but there has been a tremendous amount of interest,” he said, adding that the company was talking to Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.

While US defence spending has been declining, Mr Urias said that revenue coming from its home market could pick up by the end of the summer.

Oshkosh is competing in the US defence department’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme, which will designate a replacement for the long-used Humvee.

“We think we will win,” said Mr Urias.

He added that there would not be “a one-to-one replacement” of the Humvee, but a “sizeable number of 55,000 vehicles” are expected to be ordered by the US military.

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