LIFT-Funded Innovation Project Earns $89 Million Contract With Army to Help Save Soldiers’ Lives

HMMWV antilock braking and electronic stability control systems retrofit kits are being rolled out across the Army.

DETROIT – LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, today announced that one the institute’s innovation projects – to further develop and scale an ABS/ESC system and provide validation of quality retrofit installation on the HMMWV fleet – has been awarded a three-year, $89 million contract by the U.S. Army.

The initial project, completed in 2017, was funded and program managed by LIFT in collaboration with Ricardo Defense Systems, and led to the successful retrofitting of 10 Michigan National Guard vehicles with the optimized ABS/ESC system and making the kit available for purchase by military units worldwide. Recently, Ricardo Defense announced it has been awarded the three-year contract by the Army to provide up to 9,480 critical safety improvement retrofit kits over the next three years.

Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from similar vehicle classes, ABS and ESC systems significantly reduces fatal rollovers – by 74 percent.

“This successful technology transfer into the marketplace and into the hands of the military to improve soldier safety is exactly why LIFT exists as a public-private partnership,” said Nigel Francis, CEO and Executive Director, LIFT. “We are proud of the role we played to fund and manage this project and help it get to a position where it could be scaled up and implemented into the hands of the warfighter.”

The initial project included support from GKN, Michigan Technological University and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, along with Ricardo and LIFT.