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Army awards deal for Cheetah M-ATVs

LADSON, S.C., March 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has contracted Force Dynamics for its Cheetah vehicles as part of the mine-resistant ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle program.

Force Dynamics, a joint venture of Force Protection Inc. and General Dynamics Land Systems, was awarded a $1 million contract for two of its Cheetah vehicles under the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command M-ATV program.

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Force Dynamics' Cheetah M-ATV, a lightweight tactical vehicle based on Force Protection's original Cheetah vehicle, is a response to the Army's solicitation for a more mobile vehicle to withstand the rugged terrain of Afghanistan operations.

"Delivery of these first test vehicles and the subsequent sale to TACOM is an important milestone gate in the M-ATV competition," Damon Walsh, Force Dynamics program director, said in a statement.

"We have long believed that there was a need for a lightweight, highly mobile and highly survivable tactical wheeled vehicle to supplement the current fleet. We are proud to have foreseen -- through the development of the Cheetah -- the need to evolve the category with enhanced mobility to navigate the rugged terrain and wider variety of missions that characterize the conflict in Afghanistan."

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