All new Oshkosh striker force in market
The all-new Oshkosh Striker is the world’s premier Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle. Here’s how it excels – and why it matters.
“When the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle you’re custom-building for a busy airport is going to be in service for 10 to 15 years, you’d better design and build it with longevity in mind,” says Jason Shively, Senior Chief Engineer for Oshkosh Airport Products, a division of Oshkosh Corporation.
The creation of the new Striker®, Oshkosh demonstrates a focused understanding that every design, engineering and manufacturing detail of each ARFF vehicle is not only important, but also crucial. It also explains why the new Striker, three years in development, represents the state-of-the-art for ARFF apparatus. Innovative fire suppression technologies, improved chassis performance, advanced safety systems, greater reliability and durability, and a smart overall design make it an ideal first choice for airport emergency response teams.
Oshkosh Corporation’s Striker has been the preeminent ARFF vehicle at major North American airports for years now, but the new generation Striker is designed for the world market.
“Not often is there an opportunity to redo an ARFF vehicle from the ground up,” says Shively. “Before ramping up the engineering, we held discussions for a year with US and international airport fire chiefs, firefighters and fleet maintenance managers, dissecting their current trucks, asking them what they liked and disliked, and what worked best for their applications. The result is the new Striker, an ARFF vehicle built to a world standard.”
Firefighting systems are significantly improved, and include the Pulse Technology dry chemical system that allows firefighters to operate at a 90-foot standoff instead of a typical 40-foot standoff.
“Bigger aircraft means the potential for more challenging emergencies, and Pulse Technology makes the new Striker as effective as current dry chemical systems at over twice the distance – which, of course, translates to a much greater safety margin for firefighters,” Shively adds.
The Striker’s pulse-delivery technology shoots packets of dry chemical powder, automatic weapons style, to improve both accuracy and the effective standoff distance – and dramatically lessen any loss of performance during wind events. Departments can also choose between 1500 and 3000 gallons (6000 to 12,500 liters) of water, in addition to a wide range of foam systems and Halotron®, for true triple agent firefighting capability.
Centralized steering provides the operator with the best seating position to scan and interpret everything that’s happening – from getting a clear view on both sides when crossing a busy taxiway, seeing details of a situation, to watching for obstacles or hazards when manipulating the turrets. The new chassis also has superb side slope stability, while a tighter turning radius and available disc brake option improves both maneuverability and safety.
Simplified controls reduce training time and improve operator efficiency. For instance, there are only 39 rocker switches, over a third less than in the current generation Striker, and their functions are now grouped and color coded – for example everything that controls water pumping is blue.
“The reduced switch count and color coding simplifies training, allows smaller teams to do more, and improves response time in the heat of battle – all critical assets to both to department operations and responding to incidents effectively,” Shively notes.
Perhaps even more importantly, the CAN-based electronics are divided into three groups (driveline, firefighting controls and cab turrets), so if a malfunction should ever occur – such as in the driveline – all key firefighting systems will still work independently. The three zone electronics also speeds up diagnostics and repair. To meet the demands of the world market, metric fasteners have been used throughout the vehicle.
The new Striker boasts a curb weight that is 2,000 lbs. lighter than the current model. This is significant, because every 2,000 lbs. taken out of the vehicle reduces its 0-50 mph acceleration time by a second – a crucial advantage as aircraft rescue vehicles now respond to more types of incidents, including medical emergencies, on a daily basis at busy airports. Recognizing the potential for smaller crews in some departments, Oshkosh designed the Striker to be driven to an incident by a single operator who can then respond effectively.
The new Striker’s powerful 700-hp turbodiesel engine meets the latest EPA Tier 4i and Euro emissions standards. Maintenance functions are improved as well, with key service points and components such as filters all grouped together. There is even walk-in access for the engine, fluid checks, and valves for foam and dry-chemical firefighting systems.
Also setting the Striker apart is its new interior, which boasts a more automotive-style design with features such as a sound-absorbing formed headliner, and three-point seatbelts for all seating locations. Firefighters are further protected by a strong cab designed to meet ECE29 rollover protection standards.
Serving its global mission, all of the new Striker’s vehicle systems conform to both FMVSS and Euro standards, and switches are marked with ISO symbols instead of lettering. And where differences may exist between standards, such as in light type and positioning, the Striker is designed to accommodate both DOT and Euro lighting standards.
Building the new Striker to a global standard for airports throughout the world is vital – it allows Oshkosh to invest more heavily in engineering that’s amortized across a larger production run. The result, quite simply, is not only a better product but one that sets a new standard.
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