U.S. Department of State Selects Battelle to Build Armored Ford Expeditions
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec. 1, 2021)— Battelle’s Logistics, Operations & Ground Systems business line, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company was awarded a Large Sport Utility Vehicle (LSUV) design contract from the U.S. Department of State (DoS), on behalf of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), to develop a purpose-built armored vehicle design by modifying existing commercial items and deliver four prototype armored Ford Expedition vehicles with distinct requirements for protection missions.
The armored Ford Expedition design will be the first purpose-built domestic vehicle armor package Battelle has designed, according to Sara Kuczek, the company’s Ground Systems Division Manager. “Battelle is proud to bring its depth of engineering skills to DSS and other government agencies seeking armored vehicles manufactured in the United States,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to supporting DSS, in collaboration with Ford, building upon its long- standing history of innovation and well-known reputation as a global leader in the truck market,” Kuczek said.
Battelle has been a partner to the U.S. government in armoring vehicles for over 80 years, starting with a contract awarded in 1939 to improve armor plating for the U.S. Army. The company has continued to grow its specialty automotive integration capabilities at facilities on the west side of Columbus, Ohio, building hundreds of armored vehicles for select Department of Defense customers over the last decade.
“As we’ve seen in recent months, keeping our State Department and embassy personnel safe is of the utmost importance,” said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1) Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific with jurisdiction over Afghanistan. “Battelle’s armored vehicles have been keeping the men and women in our armed services safe for decades, and they will now employ their cutting-edge technology to protect our diplomatic personnel as they perform their important duties.”
Battelle also re-engineers vehicles to meet demanding requirements for protection, durability, and performance in high demand environments. This specialized work includes superior armoring, enhanced
suspensions, and reinforced power systems.
This is the second award in recent months for the Battelle Ground Systems team in support of DSS. Earlier this year, the Department of State selected Battelle to build 229 armored Land Cruisers. Delivery of the vehicles is scheduled to begin in March 2022.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.