WASHINGTON—The U.S. Army will conduct a study on the feasibility, costs and benefits of having a second procurement source of Stryker combat vehicle tires.
The military currently has no shortage of the tires, according to an Army spokeswoman.
Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, both R-Ohio, introduced an amendment that passed in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2007 defense authorization package, requiring the Army to conduct such a study.
"We must ensure that the supply chain will not be broken, especially in times of crisis at home," Voinovich said in a release.
The senator claims that an eight-month inventory of Stryker tires had been depleted. But an Army spokesman insists the military has an adequate supply.
Col. Peter Fuller, the officer in charge of the Stryker program, decided to proactively conduct the investigation, although the Senate and House haven´t yet gone to conference on the defense bill, the spokeswoman said. There is no timetable yet for the study.
Goodyear, one of the Ohio senators´ largest corporate constituents, probably would benefit if the Army found a need for a second source of tires for the 20-ton combat vehicles.
Michelin North America Inc., the current sole supplier of Stryker tires, said it doesn´t understand the need for a study. "When the Army says we don´t have a shortage, I would assume they´re telling the truth," said Steve Evered, Michelin director of government affairs.
Michelin anticipates the Army will order about 20,000 Stryker tires next year, or about one-third of Michelin´s capacity for the tires.
A Goodyear spokesman had no complaints about the home-state senators´ action. "Goodyear certainly understands and appreciates the expressed concern of Sens. Voinovich and DeWine over single-source tire supply for the Stryker vehicle," he said.