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Stakes rise for armored vehicle makers as Pentagon eyes orders
Houston Chronicle ^ | 5/11/2007 | DONNA BORAK

Posted on 05/11/2007 9:13:09 AM PDT by LM_Guy

WASHINGTON — The stakes are rising for nine companies vying to supply new armored vehicles to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the Pentagon will name winners for a big chunk of the $8.4 billion contract in June, shares of one competitor — Force Protection Industries Inc. of Ladson, S.C. — soared Thursday on word that the Army plans to boost its order for next-generation armored vehicles.

Force Protection, the maker of the largest mine-resistant vehicles, last month received the largest order to date — a deal worth $481.4 million to deliver 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicles.

With the production of more than 6,700 additional MRAP vehicles already up for grabs, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a press conference on Wednesday that Pentagon officials plan to meet today to discuss ordering even more.

"My concern is that the rate of production is nowhere near what it needs to be to meet the demand on the part of either the Army or the Marine Corps," Gates said.

The Army, which is scheduled to receive 2,500 MRAP vehicles, said Thursday it will ask for more of them, but that they will not be used to replace armored Humvees manufactured by privately held AM General Corp.

On Thursday, Force Protection's shares climbed $3.42, or 14.7 percent, to $26.67.

MRAP vehicles protect U.S. soldiers from mines, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devises. The vehicle, already in use in Iraq and Afghanistan, is designed with a V-shape hull to repel explosions.

The House Armed Services committee tacked on an additional $4.1 billion earlier this month to the president's defense budget request to cover the MRAP program, which has been widely supported by Congress.

Other companies vying for the military's armored-vehicle business include Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp., BAE Systems.....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; buffalo; cheetah; cougar; iraq; marines; miltech; mrap
I do not understand the resistance in replacing the Humvee's with these new vehicles. It is my understanding that the majority of solidiers killed in Iraq are from Rockets & IEDs hitting Humvees.
1 posted on 05/11/2007 9:13:12 AM PDT by LM_Guy
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To: LM_Guy
The Humvee was never really designed for the kind of environment it is being used in. The Humvee is designed to be fairly light weight so that it can go anywhere, and be sling loaded from helicopters. The MRAP is (I think) something like 6 times as heavy as a typical Humvee. This limits where it can go and what can transport it.

So the MRAP CANNOT replace the Humvee role for role. But it will serve a specific purpose in Iraq and other theaters (namely armored wheeled transport in a weight class under current tracked APCs).
2 posted on 05/11/2007 9:24:49 AM PDT by ChromeDome (Every person's death diminishes me. Some more than others.)
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To: LM_Guy

What they are really talking about is a replacment for the M113A1.

From FAS

“Since their initial introduction in 1960, M113-based systems have entered service in more than 50 countries. The systems have been modified into more than 40 identified specific variants, with many times that number of minor field modifications. Many of these modifications have been developed by foreign governments to meet their specific national requirements. While some older M113 derivatives are being retired and removed from selected inventories, other FOV members are being upgraded, reconfigured, and introduced as entirely new systems.

More than 80,000 M113 Family of Vehicle (FOV) systems have been produced. New M113 FOV systems are being built while existing chassis are being upgraded to modern configurations.

The M113 APC was the first modern “battle taxi”; developed to transport infantry forces on the mechanized battlefield. It is fitted with a 2 stroke six cylinder Detroit diesel providing power through a 3 speed automatic gearbox and steering differential. The main armament is a single .50 Cal heavy barrel machine gun, and the secondary armament is a single .30 Cal machine gun. The M113 is built of aircraft quality aluminum which allows it to possess some of the same strengths as steel at a much lighter weight. This distinct weight advantage allows the M113 to utilize a relatively small engine to power the vehicle, as well as carry a large payload cross-country. The vehicle is capable of “swimming” bodies of water. “

It is 40 years later and still they can’t figure out a replacment.

We have poor leaders.

There has been replacement prototypes offered for over twenty years.

The purchasing system is so corrupt I don’t know if we can ever get a high number of any kind of vehicle for descent price.

We made 80,000 of the M113

The 6x6 Cougar weight 32,000lbs so it is the replacement for the M113 but don’t tell anyone.

Or the 4x4

The M113A3 is 23,00lb

Will it take another 20 years to make 1,000 of the Cougar’s?

3 posted on 05/11/2007 11:20:20 AM PDT by Goldwater and Gingrich
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