Polaris lands contract to produce ATVs for German military


Medina-based Polaris Industries Inc. is revving up more military business overseas -- but not for the U.S. Armed Forces, the Star Tribune reports.

The company said Thursday that it has secured a contract to customize its MV850 ultralight tactical vehicles for the German army and special forces.

The vehicle is a modification of an ATV originally designed for the U.S. Army's use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company did not disclose the amount of the deal or how many of the vehicles would be produced.

Polaris spokeswoman Donna Beadle said the company also has military deals with Israel, Canada, Norway and Singapore.

In a statement issued to Twin Cities Business, Rich Haddad, general manager of Polaris' defense unit, said international military units are impressed with the company's ability to turn around product quickly.

"Defense forces around the world are seeking Polaris Defense Military vehicles to take advantage of our ability to make modifications to our commercial off-the-shelf technology, insert customer requirements, and quickly deliver an end product that meets their needs," Haddad said in the statement.

The Star Tribune says that the company offers unique options for its vehicles, including "non-pneumatic" tires. The tires which can virtually roll over anything -- nails, railroad spikes, glass, and war-torn terrain -- without going flat.

Created in 2005, Polaris' Defense division originally provided vehicles to U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and to the National Guard. It won its largest military contract at the time in 2007 with a three-year, $16 million deal to make 1,000 ATV for Army -- an order that grew by $6 million two years later.

The company also secured a $54 million contract from the U.S. for military ATVs and parts for use in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2011.

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