Ricardo Defense Systems and LIFT complete retrofit safety upgrade of Michigan HMMWVs

Ricardo’s proven antilock brake and electronic stability control system to reduce fatal military vehicle rollovers is now available to Department of Defense HMMWVs nationwide and for international markets

Media Contacts:
Joe Steele, LIFT

Thom Green, Ricardo

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Detroit, Michigan, December 11, 2017 – Ricardo Defense Systems, LLC, (RDS) and LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a Manufacturing USA institute, announced today the successful completion of their pilot project to retrofit 10 Michigan National Guard vehicles with RDS’s optimized ABS (antilock braking system) and ESC (electronic stability control) to reduce High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fatal rollovers. The system is now available for purchase by military units worldwide.

The goal of the project, announced earlier this year, was to further develop and scale Ricardo Defense Systems’ ABS/ESC system and provide validation of quality retrofit installation on the HMMWV fleet, including training soldiers on the installation process and further demonstrating the systems’ value in the field. Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from similar vehicle classes, ESC significantly reduces fatal rollovers by 74 percent.

To see a video showing the impact these systems have on stabilizing a HMMWV, click here.

“The retrofit that our team of professionals installed on the HMMWVs has already seen over fifty thousand miles, a testament to the quality of our National Guard

maintenance technicians.” said Major General Mike Stone, Assistant Adjutant General of Michigan, “This is all about protecting the force and mitigating the risk of HMMWV rollovers.”

The project also called for further study of the systems to explore potential lightweighting options for the future, aimed at reducing component weight through the use of carbon fiber reinforced materials.

“We’re proud to have been involved in this important project with the aim of reducing the risk of injury to our men and women in uniform, and civilians on public roads,” said Chet Gryczan, president, Ricardo Defense Systems, LLC. “By working with LIFT on this project, we’ve proven our system is ready and able to be installed across the HMMWV fleet to improve safety immediately. We have also been able to investigate opportunities for possible future implementation, which reduce weight and hence improve vehicle payload or efficiency.”

“As a Department of Defense (DoD)-sponsored institute, one of our missions is to research and develop lightweight metal solutions in support of our military, and this project does just that,” said Lawrence E. Brown, executive director, LIFT. “We are looking forward to working with both the industry members involved and our partners at the DoD to further implement these systems and increase the safety and security of our working military men and women.”

Project partners included GKN as a technology partner and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute are participating as a research partners.


Ricardo Defense Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ricardo Inc. established as a separate limited liability company in 2015 and structured under a Defense Security Service ‘Special Security Agreement’. Ricardo Defense provides engineering, technology, product innovation, sustainment, and field support services for our customers in the defense industry. We are committed to providing outstanding value through quality engineering solutions focused on class- leading product innovation and robust strategic implementation. We are guided by our corporate values of respect, integrity, creativity & innovation and passion. Ricardo, Inc. is the US subsidiary of Ricardo plc. For more information, visit

LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit to learn more.