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The fruits of a $40 million program have been unveiled: two new combat pickup trucks. Ford has produced a military version of its F250 CrewCab pickup, while Chrysler has a military version of its Dodge Ram 2500. The trucks are designed to perform the functions of a Humvee (other than directly on the front lines) for half of the cost. The Army plans to start buying 20,000 of the trucks in 2004 to replace existing Chevy Blazers. The new trucks are equipped with night vision devices, flatscreen computers, and collision warning systems; they have also been modified to have the cross-country mobility of a Humvee. They lack ballistic protection, although both companies are working on kits that could add some degree of protection to the vehicles in hopes of gaining increased sales.--Stephen V Cole

 


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