United Kingdom Orders Force Protection’s Vehicle

by: Matthew Potter
December 3, 2010

Category: Editorial | RSS 2.0

One of the major companies that received a great deal of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle business at its peak is Force Protection (FRPT). When the United States and some of its Allies needed large quantities quickly of these vehicles for use in Iraq and Afghanistan the company could not build them fast enough. Unfortunately as demand decreased and newer designs became available Force Protection suffered seeing its share of the market fall and its stock price also drop.

The company has continued designing new vehicles as well as supporting and maintaining the existing fleets of its systems in use by the military. Every now and then it is able to get a new order but it was not selected for the last major program as Oshkosh (OSK) won the right to build the MRAP-AT for use in Afghanistan.

Its subsidiary Force Protection Europe has done a little better and a few days ago announced that the United Kingdom would be buying another two hundred of its lighter HUMVEE like system the Ocelot. This contract will be worth almost $300 million and most of the work will be done in the U.K.

The MRAP was optimized for the mission of protecting troops as they moved about the Iraqi and Afghanistan roads from IED and mines. They were not really tactical vehicles and the U.S. Army for one is struggling how to integrate them into their doctrine and formations. As the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan ends the demand for the systems will drop as newer systems are developed.

Force Protection like the other companies that invested so much in making these types of vehicles will need to find new markets or products or face a much smaller potential market.

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