Polaris Delivers New Military ATV

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Polaris Industries Inc. says it's ready to deliver the first batch of its MV800 4x4 ATVs to the U.S. Department of Defense. The MV800 is Polaris' first military machine to feature the Patriot engine with electronic direct fuel injection.

Polaris says the new 760cc, 40hp engine, developed in partnership with Australia-based Orbital Corp., offers almost twice the horsepower of traditional, diesel compression engines of the same size.

The powerplant runs on JP8, although in an emergency can run on gasoline, JP5 and highway diesel. JP8 (Jet Propellant 8) is a kerosene-based turbine fuel, nearly identical to the Jet A and Jet A-1 fuels used by commercial airlines. The Department of Defense announced in 1988 that JP8 would be the military's primary fuel. The DOD's declaration was quickly followed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?s order that JP8 would also be the single battlefield fuel for NATO forces.

The military is working to convert diesel-powered equipment to JP8, however full conversion to a single fuel is not scheduled for completion for another few years.

Polaris has been providing a family of vehicles to the U.S. Armed Forces since 2001. In August Polaris was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command to continue to provide ATVs to the military for another three years, a deal with a potential total value of more than $16 million. Deliveries under the contract were scheduled to start before the New Year.

"The awarding of this TACOM contract and the continued relationship with the U.S. Army represents a major step for our overall business as we drive to achieve growth in adjacent market segments," Polaris CEO Tom Tiller said at the time.

In the early part of 2007, Polaris outlined a set of objectives intended to achieve its sales and earning goals through 2009. One of the main focuses in the new strategy was to generate incremental sales from several growth businesses, including the exploration of opportunities in adjacent market segments outside of its typical consumer base.