Italian Defense awards contract for MRAPs

Feb. 25, 2008 at 9:16 PM

LADSON, S.C., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Italian Ministry of Defense announced it has contracted South Carolina-based Force Protection Inc. for soldier transport and route clearance vehicles.

Italian defense officials announced the contract with Force Protection for four of the company's mine resistant ambush protected Buffalo route clearance vehicles and six MRAP Cougar troop transport vehicles. The contract also includes spare parts.

"There is, across the world, a community of nations that recognizes that their finest men and women either are now or will eventually serve in harm's way," Michael Moody, Force Protection chairman and interim chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"These nations also clearly want to provide those same soldiers the very best equipment possible to protect them and enable them to complete their missions. We are proud today to announce an additional foreign military sales order for the Italian Ministry of Defense for just such purposes. We believe that this order further underscores a sizable international opportunity for our technology and our products."

Force Protection is a developer of MRAP vehicles to support the U.S. military and allies with protection technologies to secure personnel in conflict zones including Iraq and Afghanistan. Company officials say the Italian Defense Ministry's contract is expected to be fulfilled by July 2008.

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