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DoD Releases $2.66 billion for MRAP, MRAP II

The MRAP Vehicle Joint Program Office released this week $2.66 billion in orders for 3,126 MRAP vehicles, sustaining the production lines with four manufacturing lines – International Military & Government (IMG), BAE Systems and Force protection. And, in a follow-on move for this impresive program, the Marine Corps also released initial contracts for MRAP II test vehicles, to be delivered within 6-7 months. (More...)

3rd BCT, 101st Brigade Receives MaxxPro MRAP vehicles in Iraq. Photo: Capt. Allison Flannigan, US Army The recent contract awards continues the rapid procurement and acquisition process for these life-saving vehicles with the release of four delivery orders resulting in a total of 11,941 vehicles by mid-summer. The total approved acquisition objective for all services is 15,374 which include vehicles produced for training and testing purposes. 1,330 MRAP vehicles are already in theater and by the end of december 2007 the Pentagon expects to have there more than 1,500. The largest single shipment to date, more than 200 MRAPs left Charleston, S.C. mid December on the USNS Pililaau.A MRAP vehicle loaded onto a US caro ship underway to Iraq. Photo: US Sealift Command
The second unit to get the MRAP in Iraq, the 3rd Brigade Cobat Team, 101st Air Assault Division.

The largest share of the recently announced acquisition was won by International Military and Government LLC (IMG) - it was their sixth order worth $1.1 billion for the delivery of 1,500 CAT I MRAP vehicles (MaxxPro)These vehicles will be delivered by July next year (2008). BAE Systems also received MRAP orders worth $1.1 billion; these include $645 million for 600 CAT II MRAPs (RG-33s) and $458 million for 668 Caiman vehicles (this order was placed with BAE's Stewart & Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Division). These vehicles are scheduled for delivery in July and June 2008. Force Protection Industries received an order for $379 million for 178 CAT I and 180 CAT II vehicles. These vehicles were originally scheduled for delivery for the US Marine Corps, but will now be diverted to other services, as the USMC decided to reduce its MRAP procurement for the corps use. The production of these vehicles will be pursued jointly by the Force Protection, Inc. and General Dynamics Land Systems, under their Force Dynamics joint venture company. The Army is also evaluating their needs but no decision to cut MRAP orders has been made yet.

Cheetah, from Force protection is a candidate vehicle for MRAP II. Photo: Tamir EshelAccording to Gordon McGilton, CEO of Force Protection, Inc. the company will continue working with the Army to field the Cougar vehicle in a way that will meet the Army’s objective of reducing sustainment and life cycle expense. According to McGilton, the company is in the process of finalizing a contract for the Buffalo route clearance vehicles to be part of the US Army Ground Standoff Mine Detection System (GSTAMIDS) program of record. Additional sales of some 300 Cougar vehicles have been approved to the United Kingdom and Italy. The two contracts have a combined estimated value of $150 million.

MRAP II Progress:

BULL MRAP II candidate vehicle. Photo:  CeradyneThe Marine Corps Systems Command awarded contracts for the delivery of MRAP II test vehicles and armor systems, to BAE Systems and Ideal Innovations, Inc., representing the cooperative team effort of Ceradyne and Oshkosh Trucks. The vehicles are scheduled for deivery in the first quarter of 2008. MRAP II tests are expected to continue for several months. The contract awarded to Ideal is worth $18 million for the delivery of a BULL type vehicle configured as MRAP II Category I (6 passengers). In October 2007 the team delivered the initial two test vehicles (representing CAT I and CAT II designs) to the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center. Positive results displayed through these tests have paved the way for additional user testing on the 6 vehicles which will follow.

Under the $5.7 contract BAE Systems will produce Category I MRAP II test vehicles based on the company’s Caiman 6x6 design and Category II MRAP II test vehicles based on the company’s RG33 6x6 vehicle. In total, six vehicles will be delivered by March 2008 along with associated armor systems, to test and demonstrate the survivability and mobility characteristics of enhanced MRAP vehicles. “The RG33 and Caiman vehicles have the right balance of payload capability, automotive performance, and blast protection, and have proven extremely capable of handling the significantly increased requirements of MRAP-II,” said Matt Riddle, vice president of Wheeled Vehicle Programs. “Our designs offer mobility upgrades that significantly increase payload capacity and enable the integration of superior survivability enhancements across the threat spectrum.”

The announcement is good news for the two companies, as it narrows the competition in the MRAP II program, since the contracts for the test vehicles will also include ordering options for production quantities of up20,500 vehicles, worth about $12.5 billion under an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract. Force Protection also announced it is also in the game, as the US Marine Corps Systems Command informed them that their Cheetah armored vehicle proposal is in the competitive range for continued development and testing by the corps, which will further evaluate the vehicle with modifications as part of ongoing MRAP II competition.

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