TROY, Mich. (FOX 2) - A new military contract is up for grabs and Michigan suppliers are making their pitch.
"I think you have to come back to, what does Michigan bring to the table?" said Pavan Muzumdar, COO of automation alley. "We know how to make suff, we have a supply chain that is deep."
With roots in automobiles, Michigan companies are looking to broaden the reputation and attract two companies looking to build 3,500 infantry fighting vehicles. If you think that number is big, check out the cost of the program.
"It's a big $42 billion franchise program and it's a big activity, so we need to get started quickly," said Brad Barnard of Raytheon. "But we have started in the right place."
The new Lynx fighting vehicles would replace the existing fleet for the U.S. Army. Paired with Rheinmettal out of Germany, the two companies were in Troy to hear what dozens of Metro Detroit companies could offer. The first phase of the program will include $600 million worth of work.
"To make something like that, you need a sophisticated ecosystem that we have in Michigan" Muzumdar said, "and so I think we will lead with that."
Part of the pitch includes emphasizing the talent that Michigan offers.
"A lot of it (talent) is driven by automotive, and there are companies like GM Defense or looking to transition some of their commercial capability into the defense space and that's a fairly common occurrence," said Barnard.
The companies will pick their suppliers in 2020.