Stewart & Stevenson Invests in Cutting-Edge Engineering Technology for New Army Truck

Investment in Future Includes Upgraded R&D Center, Test Track Additions



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP

    SEALY, Texas, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Committed to designing the U.S.
 Army's next generation tactical truck, Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle
 Systems, LP (TVSLP) is significantly increasing its investment in research,
 testing and technology capabilities at its Sealy, Texas facility.
     "We've taken a bold step toward producing a lighter, more durable and
 better performing military truck capable of transporting heavier payloads in a
 wide variety of environments," said Richard M. Wiater, Senior Vice President
 of Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc.'s Specialty Wheeled Vehicle Division.
     The Sealy facility, located 50 miles west of Houston, is specifically
 designed to manufacture the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), which
 the company has been producing for the Army since 1991. The new investments
 include an advanced research and development (R&D) center and additions to the
 test track that simulate a wide spectrum of real-life driving conditions,
 ranging from the most demanding off-road terrain to highways.
     These improvements give TVSLP the capability to develop a tactical truck
 with a significantly increased payload while maintaining vehicle curb weight.
 Reduced payload-to-weight ratio will be a critical design parameter as much
 for new generations of FMTV as for the Army's conceptual Future Tactical Truck
 System (FTTS).
     TVSLP is competing for the Army's next FMTV production contract expected
 to be awarded in 2003, and is designing concepts for the FTTS that could be
 fielded as early as 2008. FMTV and ultimately FTTS will serve as the backbone
 for combat support for the Army's Objective Force starting in 2010.
     "We already manufacture a truck that far exceeds test and performance
 requirements," said Mike Grimes, President and CEO of Stewart & Stevenson
 Services, Inc., the parent company of TVSLP. "These facility upgrades will
 ensure the Army will have the vehicle it needs to meet the demands of the 21st
 century."
 
     State-of-the-Art Research and Development Center
     Computer simulations and analysis assist TVSLP in the rapid development
 and trial of concepts without costly delays and the expense of building and
 testing prototype hardware. TVSLP spent $1.3 million on its recently renovated
 Engineering and Research & Development Technical Center. Specific improvements
 include upgraded software and hardware, a prototype shop with a three-
 dimensional printer, enhanced work areas and an expanded test track.
     Software upgrades include the acquisition of Pro/ENGINEER -- a three-
 dimensional, solid model computer aided engineering software. This virtual
 prototype design and testing software is absolutely state-of-the-art and
 reduces costs and product lead time. With Pro/ENGINEER, prototype models can
 be generated on a special 3-D printer and virtual computer-animated trucks can
 be "tested" on simulated test tracks at designated speeds. TVSLP engineers are
 also now able to use advanced R&D technology to interchange real-time 3D
 models electronically with customers and vendors and to receive answers to
 "what if" questions.
 
     New Test Track
     The FMTV manufacturing plant's existing truck testing facilities include a
 1.3-mile all weather high-speed track, a crane/winch test area, a brake test
 area and off-road inclines including a 30% side slope and a 41-foot-high hill
 with 22%, 30% and 60% grades.
     In June of this year, TVSLP will unveil additional testing facilities,
 including a looped track that will mirror the off-road conditions at the U.S.
 Army Aberdeen Test Center in central Maryland, the preeminent test facility
 within the Department of Defense. Features of the new track include a vertical
 24-inch step, frame twister sine wave, half round bumps, trench obstacles, a
 return loop with crossover, and vibration courses with an off-road Root Mean
 Square (RMS) severity range of 0.5 to 5.4 (RMS is a measure of road
 roughness). A 36-inch deep mud bath is also included.
 
     Improved Truck Design Increases Payload Capacity
     Based on testing results and R&D technology, TVSLP has improved the
 payload-to-weight ratio of the FMTV. An example is the truck's redesigned
 "Heli-lift" system that allows transport by helicopter. Engineering
 improvements, based upon computer testing, have led to a Heli-lift system that
 is lighter, yet stronger. In addition, TVSLP is actively working to complete
 design of a Load Handling System variant of the FMTV that is light enough to
 be deployed on C-130 transport aircraft but heavy enough to carry and move
 containers on the battlefield and serve as a platform for Army combat systems
 such as missile launchers.
     With the need for high commonality and reliability in mind, TVSLP's
 engineers are successfully working toward the goal of reducing the curb weight
 of the vehicle so that additional payload does not increase the gross vehicle
 weight, allowing it to maintain critical performance and C-130 tansportability
 characteristics. As payload capacity increases, without an increase in the
 truck's weight, the FMTV is fast approaching a 10-ton payload mark. "As the
 Army transforms to its Objective Force, so must we transform the FMTV to serve
 the next generation of soldiers who will rely on the vehicle to successfully
 perform their mission," said Wiater.
 
     Founded in 1902, Stewart & Stevenson (Nasdaq:   SSSS) provides power
 systems, parts and services to the following industries: Military, Marine, Oil
 & Gas, Agriculture, Industrial, Highway & Transit and Airline Ground Support.
 The corporate Web site is http://www.ssss.com . Stewart & Stevenson Tactical
 Vehicle Systems, LP is the primary contractor for the U.S. Army's Family of
 Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), which includes 2.5 and 5-ton trucks in 14
 variants with 85% commonality. More information can be found at
 http://www.fmtvtruck.com .
 
     This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
 Exchange Act of 1934. Stewart & Stevenson believes that its expectations, as
 expressed in these statements, are based on reasonable assumptions regarding
 the risks and uncertainties inherent in achieving those expectations. These
 statements are not, however, guarantees of future performance and actual
 results may differ materially. The most important factors that may cause
 actual results to differ from our expectations are the risks of cancellation,
 adjustment or termination of the contracts with the government and our ability
 to introduce competitive new products and services on a timely, cost effective
 basis. Other risk factors are listed in Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc.
 annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 10-K for the
 year ended January 31, 2000, and Quarterly Report to the Securities and
 Exchange Commission on Form 10-Q for the three months ended October 31, 2000.
 
 

SOURCE Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP
    SEALY, Texas, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Committed to designing the U.S.
 Army's next generation tactical truck, Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle
 Systems, LP (TVSLP) is significantly increasing its investment in research,
 testing and technology capabilities at its Sealy, Texas facility.
     "We've taken a bold step toward producing a lighter, more durable and
 better performing military truck capable of transporting heavier payloads in a
 wide variety of environments," said Richard M. Wiater, Senior Vice President
 of Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc.'s Specialty Wheeled Vehicle Division.
     The Sealy facility, located 50 miles west of Houston, is specifically
 designed to manufacture the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), which
 the company has been producing for the Army since 1991. The new investments
 include an advanced research and development (R&D) center and additions to the
 test track that simulate a wide spectrum of real-life driving conditions,
 ranging from the most demanding off-road terrain to highways.
     These improvements give TVSLP the capability to develop a tactical truck
 with a significantly increased payload while maintaining vehicle curb weight.
 Reduced payload-to-weight ratio will be a critical design parameter as much
 for new generations of FMTV as for the Army's conceptual Future Tactical Truck
 System (FTTS).
     TVSLP is competing for the Army's next FMTV production contract expected
 to be awarded in 2003, and is designing concepts for the FTTS that could be
 fielded as early as 2008. FMTV and ultimately FTTS will serve as the backbone
 for combat support for the Army's Objective Force starting in 2010.
     "We already manufacture a truck that far exceeds test and performance
 requirements," said Mike Grimes, President and CEO of Stewart & Stevenson
 Services, Inc., the parent company of TVSLP. "These facility upgrades will
 ensure the Army will have the vehicle it needs to meet the demands of the 21st
 century."
 
     State-of-the-Art Research and Development Center
     Computer simulations and analysis assist TVSLP in the rapid development
 and trial of concepts without costly delays and the expense of building and
 testing prototype hardware. TVSLP spent $1.3 million on its recently renovated
 Engineering and Research & Development Technical Center. Specific improvements
 include upgraded software and hardware, a prototype shop with a three-
 dimensional printer, enhanced work areas and an expanded test track.
     Software upgrades include the acquisition of Pro/ENGINEER -- a three-
 dimensional, solid model computer aided engineering software. This virtual
 prototype design and testing software is absolutely state-of-the-art and
 reduces costs and product lead time. With Pro/ENGINEER, prototype models can
 be generated on a special 3-D printer and virtual computer-animated trucks can
 be "tested" on simulated test tracks at designated speeds. TVSLP engineers are
 also now able to use advanced R&D technology to interchange real-time 3D
 models electronically with customers and vendors and to receive answers to
 "what if" questions.
 
     New Test Track
     The FMTV manufacturing plant's existing truck testing facilities include a
 1.3-mile all weather high-speed track, a crane/winch test area, a brake test
 area and off-road inclines including a 30% side slope and a 41-foot-high hill
 with 22%, 30% and 60% grades.
     In June of this year, TVSLP will unveil additional testing facilities,
 including a looped track that will mirror the off-road conditions at the U.S.
 Army Aberdeen Test Center in central Maryland, the preeminent test facility
 within the Department of Defense. Features of the new track include a vertical
 24-inch step, frame twister sine wave, half round bumps, trench obstacles, a
 return loop with crossover, and vibration courses with an off-road Root Mean
 Square (RMS) severity range of 0.5 to 5.4 (RMS is a measure of road
 roughness). A 36-inch deep mud bath is also included.
 
     Improved Truck Design Increases Payload Capacity
     Based on testing results and R&D technology, TVSLP has improved the
 payload-to-weight ratio of the FMTV. An example is the truck's redesigned
 "Heli-lift" system that allows transport by helicopter. Engineering
 improvements, based upon computer testing, have led to a Heli-lift system that
 is lighter, yet stronger. In addition, TVSLP is actively working to complete
 design of a Load Handling System variant of the FMTV that is light enough to
 be deployed on C-130 transport aircraft but heavy enough to carry and move
 containers on the battlefield and serve as a platform for Army combat systems
 such as missile launchers.
     With the need for high commonality and reliability in mind, TVSLP's
 engineers are successfully working toward the goal of reducing the curb weight
 of the vehicle so that additional payload does not increase the gross vehicle
 weight, allowing it to maintain critical performance and C-130 tansportability
 characteristics. As payload capacity increases, without an increase in the
 truck's weight, the FMTV is fast approaching a 10-ton payload mark. "As the
 Army transforms to its Objective Force, so must we transform the FMTV to serve
 the next generation of soldiers who will rely on the vehicle to successfully
 perform their mission," said Wiater.
 
     Founded in 1902, Stewart & Stevenson (Nasdaq:   SSSS) provides power
 systems, parts and services to the following industries: Military, Marine, Oil
 & Gas, Agriculture, Industrial, Highway & Transit and Airline Ground Support.
 The corporate Web site is http://www.ssss.com . Stewart & Stevenson Tactical
 Vehicle Systems, LP is the primary contractor for the U.S. Army's Family of
 Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), which includes 2.5 and 5-ton trucks in 14
 variants with 85% commonality. More information can be found at
 http://www.fmtvtruck.com .
 
     This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
 Exchange Act of 1934. Stewart & Stevenson believes that its expectations, as
 expressed in these statements, are based on reasonable assumptions regarding
 the risks and uncertainties inherent in achieving those expectations. These
 statements are not, however, guarantees of future performance and actual
 results may differ materially. The most important factors that may cause
 actual results to differ from our expectations are the risks of cancellation,
 adjustment or termination of the contracts with the government and our ability
 to introduce competitive new products and services on a timely, cost effective
 basis. Other risk factors are listed in Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc.
 annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 10-K for the
 year ended January 31, 2000, and Quarterly Report to the Securities and
 Exchange Commission on Form 10-Q for the three months ended October 31, 2000.
 
 SOURCE  Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP