Force Protection Europe Ltd (FPE), developer of the Occelot light armored vehicle, has been selected as the preferred bidder in Ministry of Defense (MOD) Light Protected Patrol Vehicle ( ) program. According to FPE, the first vehicles are expected to be available for the training of forces in 2011. The initial phase will require up to 400 new vehicles to be delivered by 2010-2011. FPE won this competition against the all British Supacat group, offering the Supacat Protected Vehicle (SPV) SPV-400.
Formal contract negotiations between FPE and the MOD are expected to begin shortly, to formulate final terms and vehicle quantities to be delivered. The, proposed by FPE for the program was designed, developed and will be built in the U.K. by FPE and plc. Other ‘Team Ocelot’ partners and main suppliers include , Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, the U.K. MoD’s Defence Support Group and Sula Systems.
The vehicle has an approximate gross vehicle weight of only 16,500 pounds. Its cabin is made of a protective pod, made of advanced composite materials incorporating Formula One racing technology. Critical components such as the engine, fuel tank and transmission are contained in the V shaped armored ‘spine’ that deflects potential blast away from the pod, thus protecting the occupants and critical key components.
“The success of Ocelot in the United Kingdom’s LPPV program is extremely important to our corporate strategy of providing a broad range of survivability solutions, including in tactical wheeled vehicle programs” said Michael Moody, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Force Protection, Inc. “Internationally, Ocelot is expected to play a much larger role in providing potential customers a vehicle that incorporates not only a high degree of blast and ballistic protection but also superior mobility and maintainability – these levels are currently unequaled by any vehicle of its size on the battlefield. As such, we expect there could be significant demand for the Ocelot in the worldwide marketplace for years to come.”
Britain has been a loyal customer of Force Protection, buying hundreds of 6×6 and 4×4 Cougar vehicles, designated Mastiff (6×6), RidgeBack (4×4) and Wolfhound Tactical Support Vehicle (6×6). Read more about the British armored vehicles acquisition here