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...)
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.
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.
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:
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.
You are invited to comments and discuss this article on