Caterpillar Wins $1.4-Million Navy Mine Plow Contract

Under a recently awarded $1.4- million U.S. Navy contract, Caterpillar Inc. will develop a highly specialized mine plow for the Marine Corp's Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) in a two-year program.

Managed by the Naval Coastal Systems Center, Panama City, Fla., the contract covers design, manufacturing and testing of four prototype plows. The track-width plows are designed to provide protection of AAVs during amphibious landings, uncovering and moving aside enemy anti-personnel and anti-tank mines placed in the surf and on beaches. Each AAV can carry 28 Marines from ship to shore.

Caterpillar's Defense Products and Research Departments concepted the plow for use on the AAV (built by FMC Corporation). Designed to remove and displace, rather than detonate mines, the plow can sustain limited blast forces and continue operations.

The four plows are currently scheduled to undergo a six-month test at Camp Pendleton, Calif., beginning January 1990.

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