Mack Defense competing for $5.1B U.S. Army contract

Mack Defense has been chosen to build three prototypes for the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck (CTT) Program. PHOTO/COURTESY MACK TRUCK
Mack Defense has been chosen to build three prototypes for the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck (CTT) Program. PHOTO/COURTESY MACK TRUCK –

Mack Defense has been awarded a three-prototype truck contract that could lead to a more extensive contract worth more than $5.1 billion. 

Mack is being asked to design, build, and deliver three trucks for the prototype and testing phase of the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck (CTT) program.  

The trucks will be manufactured at the Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations. 

The Army will ultimately be using up to 7,000 prototype trucks that will be tested and evaluated to determine the final requirements for the next generation of trucks to ultimately begin modernization and replacement of the Army’s fleet of approximately 35,000 heavy tactical trucks which perform a wide range of combat logistics, support, and service support missions. 

The U.S. Army’s requirements for the CTT program dictate a modern, scalable commercial-based platform with advanced safety technologies, increased off-road mobility, advanced cybersecurity, open systems architecture, improved fuel efficiency and commonality across truck variants to promote enhanced sustainability. 

“We were confident in our ability to meet the needs outlined by the U.S. Army when we submitted our initial bid,” said David Hartzell, president of Mack Defense. “Being chosen for the prototype phase of this program confirms that the Army recognizes Mack Defense has the experience in adapting our commercial based products, technologies and global value chain needed to meet the strict requirements outlined for the CTT.” 

He said Mack Defense will provide the first three prototype vehicles to the U.S. Army by January of 2024. 

 Those trucks will be tested by the Army in a variety of situations to evaluate the vehicles’ performance, efficiency, and durability.  

Jack Terefinko, CTT program manager at Mack Defense commented on the order. 

“The vehicles include an on-road tractor, an off-road tractor, and a load-handling system (LHS) truck each based off our commercial-based vehicle platforms and technologies modified to meet the strict requirements of CTT,” he said.  

After the prototype evaluations and testing are complete in 2025 the Army is expected to launch a separate competition which will lead to a production contract for the modernization of the heavy tactical vehicle fleet.   

The Army has stated that an initial production contract could be over 7,000 trucks valued at more than $5.1 billion.  

Mack Defense is currently performing two major defense programs of record, each with a scope that directly aligns with the CTT. Both projects use modified, commercial-based vehicles from the extensive global Volvo Group network. 


Mack celebrates delivery of first Heavy Dump Truck as part of $296M Army contract

Mack Trucks on Thursday celebrated the delivery of the first M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck to roll of its Allentown production line as part of a contract with the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve.

In May 2018, the U.S. Army awarded Mack Defense the contract that could be worth up to $296.4 million over seven years to produce up to 683 non-armored and armored M917A3 HDTs.

Wolfgang Petermann, the U.S. Army’s project manager for Transportation Systems, said that the Army has been operating with trucks that are nearly 50-years old.

“Now is the perfect time to provide the Engineer Regiment with modified commercial off-the-shelf capabilities leveraging the strength of the commercial auto and heavy-duty trucking industry,” Petermann said. “Today’s ceremony is a huge milestone in delivering that enhanced capability, which is better equipped to maintain the operational pace of the modern battlefield. I’m proud of the hard-working Heavy Dump Truck team that has brought us to this point.”

The production line in the Mack Experience Center is in Mack’s former Customer Adaptation Center, where vehicle modifications occurred.

The Customer Adaptation Center has since moved to Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations in Macungie, where all Mack Trucks Class 8 vehicles are assembled.

Production of the HDTs began in the first quarter of the year, following an investment of $6.5 million to create a dedicated HDT production line at the facility.

The new HDTs were designed to increase the U.S. Army’s operational effectiveness and readiness, while supporting mobility, counter-mobility, survivability and sustainment operations for the Joint Force.

Mack Defense begins Heavy Dump Truck production in Allentown

Mack Defense has begun production of its new Heavy Dump Trucks at the newly renovated Mack Experience Center. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Mack Defense has begun production of its new Heavy Dump Trucks at the Mack Experience Center in Allentown.

The company recently invested $6.5 million to create a dedicated production line for the truck line at the facility.

Previously, non-armored HDT vehicles started production at the Lehigh Valley Operations facility in Lower Macungie Township where all Mack Truck Class 8 vehicles are assembled. The HDT vehicle then transported to the Mack Experience Center for final assembly.

“The investment to create a dedicated HDT product line at the Mack Experience Center will increase production efficiencies,” said David Hartzell, president of Mack Defense. “We are proud to continue the fulfillment of our current contract with the U.S. Army and support our armed forces.”

The production line is located in the former Customer Adaptation Center, where vehicle modifications for Mack trucks occurred. All of that space will be used for production. The Customer Adaptation Center has since moved to LVO.

The HDT is based on the civilian Mack Granite model, one of the top-selling work trucks in North America.

The first deliveries of the Mack Defense HDT to the U.S. Army began in May.

U.S. Army orders 99 heavy dump trucks from Mack Defense

The U.S. Army has ordered 99 Mack Defense non-armored heavy dump trucks. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


“This order signifies the successful testing of non-armored and armored vehicles that we conducted in 2018 and 2019,” said David Hartzell, president of Mack Defense. “We are proud that Mack Defense was chosen to fulfill the needs of the U.S. Army and support our armed forces.”

The U.S. Army signed the agreement Nov. 30, 2020 to purchase the Mack Granite-based HDT’s after Mack Defense completed two years of successful testing by the Army of 12 vehicles at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

The trucks are based on the civilian Mack Granite model, however, the M917A3 HDT was spec’d with heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive, increased suspension ride height and other features to meet the U.S. Army needs.

The trucks are manufactured at Mack Truck Lehigh Valley.

Initial deliveries of the Mack Defense M917A3 HDT will begin in May 2021.

Mack delivers armored dump trucks to Army for testing

Mack Defense has delivered six armored Mack Granite-based M917A3 Heavy Dump Trucks to the U.S. Army for the Production Vehicle Testing phase of its $296 million contract. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –


Six armored Mack Granite Heavy Dump Trucks, made at Mack Lehigh Valley in Lower Macungie Township, have now been delivered for testing at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Test Center.

The delivery was part of the Production Vehicle Testing (PVT) phase of Mack Defense’s $296 million contract with the Army.

“Over the past several years, our teams have worked incredibly hard in partnership with the U.S. Army to develop, engineer and begin building these next generation trucks,” said David Hartzell, president of Mack Defense. “We’re confident the armored version will provide the operator protection levels required by the U.S. Army.”

The trucks will be tested for durability over the next 40 weeks. In addition, the trucks will undergo live-fire testing to determine occupant survivability.

“Throughout the PVT phase of the contract, the U.S. Army will provide feedback on how the trucks are performing,” said Jack Terefinko, Heavy Duty Testing program manager for Mack Defense. “That will allow us to continue to fine tune the program and ensure we’re meeting all requirements.”

The U.S. Army began soliciting bids for a new generation of HDTs in June 2017, seeking to offer increased protection levels, as well as higher payload capacity and improved mobility.

Mack Defense was awarded the contract in May 2018, which allows for Mack Defense to produce armor-capable or armored HDTs with deliveries through May 2025.

Based on the civilian Mack Granite model, Mack Defense engineered the trucks to meet the current needs of the U.S. Army, while also allowing for evolving requirements and future growth.

With heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive and increased suspension ride height, the M917A3 model is designed to meet the demanding payload and mobility requirements set by the U.S. Army HDT program.

Netizen Corp. gets Army contract totaling up to $9.2M

The U.S. Army has awarded Allentown-based Netizen Corp. a multiple-year contract with a total value of up to $9.2 million, according to company officials.

The contract calls for Netizen, a highly specialized cybersecurity solutions provider, to deliver a variety of cybersecurity solutions in support of the Project Manager Soldier Training (PM ST) in Orlando, Fla. The training program is an effort to assure troops and their leaders maintain constant military readiness. Michael Hawkins, Netizen founder and chief executive officer, said the contract is key, and that plans are in place to expand the corporation’s presence in Orlando.

“Netizen is renowned for our unique level of specialization, as our team members are amongst the most highly experienced cyber professionals anywhere, and our products and solutions are trusted by customers worldwide,” Hawkins said. “We look forward to continuing our work with this key customer for years to come by providing PM ST with the best possible value and expertise.”

Officials anticipate that the corporation will undergo expansion in Orlando as a result of this contract and the presence of Netizen Academy, an education program designed to provide further training to college graduates who are looking to be successful as cyber professionals. Cybersecurity, according to company officials, is a rapidly growing career field.

A veteran-owned organization, Netizen is America’s fastest growing cybersecurity company. In addition to Allentown and Orlando, the company has locations in the D.C. Metro area and Charleston, S.C.