U.S. Marines order 1,500 more BAE MRAPs

March 25, 2008 at 7:16 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., March 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps has ordered almost 1,500 more MRAP armored vehicles from BAE Systems.

The company said in a statement last week that it had won two follow-on delivery orders for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles worth $715 million. The Marines have ordered 1,024 Caiman-based Category I vehicles and 447 RG33 Category I and II vehicles.

The new orders boost the total number of MRAPs in both categories that BAE Systems is building for the U.S. armed forces to more than 5,100 vehicles. The company now enjoys hard orders to build 3,150 Category I vehicles and 1,927 Category II vehicles for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps and Special Forces. In all, these contracts are now worth $2.95 billion.

The new Caiman contract is valued at $481.8 million for 1,024 base Caiman Category I MRAP vehicles. BAE Systems said that the Joint Program Office has projected that it will require $174 million in Engineering Change Proposals for the vehicles in order to combine the goals of increased survivability and mobility. When the value of spare parts and contractor logistic support for the contracts are factored in, the total cost of the Caiman program since it started early last year is projected to be $1.77 billion.

"This award reinforces the effectiveness of the Caiman in the field, its adaptability to the ever changing threat, supportability derived from its commonality with the U.S. Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, and an exemplary delivery record," said Chris Chambers, vice president of Medium/Heavy Vehicles. "We are proud to be working with the Joint Program Office and supply base to continue production of these vehicles."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said: "Our workers at BAE Systems in Sealy, Texas, are some of the best this nation has. Their expert work to continually manufacture the MRAP at cost and on schedule has allowed them to deliver these crucial vehicles on a weekly basis providing for rapid fielding and critical protection for our troops on the ground. Congratulations to everyone at the plant in Sealy for this award."

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