Freightliner Sells Army Glider Kits
December 1, 1998
Dec. 2 – Freightliner has landed a $122.8 million contract with the U.S. Army Reserves for glider kids to rebuild as many as 2,000 of its aging truck tractors through 2003, reports The Business Journal of Portland.
The glider kits will upgrade AM General M915 military tractors with new cabs, frames, front axles, anti-lock brakes, fuel tanks, electrical wiring packages and automatic transmissions. Glider kits are based on Freightliner’s FLD model; major components are from Meritor Automotive, Allison Transmission and other leading suppliers.
The military glider program began two years ago when Maj. Gen. Max Baratz, then U.S. Army Reserve commander, expressed concern about the Reserve’s fleet of M915 vehicles, which had an average age of 18 years. This is the first time the military has used glider kids. The U.S. Army Reserve estimates it will save taxpayers $15 million over the next three years.
During testing, a truck refurbished with a prototype glider kit was used during the U.S. Army'’ mission in Bosnia. The truck traveled 17,000 miles in four months.