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11 Mar 09. Force Dynamics, LLC, a joint venture betweenForce Protection, Inc. and General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a contract for two Cheetah light weight, high mobility Production Representative Vehicles (PRVs) as part of the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) program. The value of the award is $1m. The two vehicles were delivered on February 23rd and met the government’s initial requirements. The Cheetah vehicle, which has been in development since late 2005, previously successfully passed testing to MRAP I survivability levels and has undergone initial mobility and durability testing at the U.S. Army’s Nevada Automotive Test Center.
Damon Walsh, executive vice president for Force Protection and program
director of Force Dynamics, commented, “Delivery of these first test
vehicles and the subsequent sale to TACOM is an important milestone gate in the M-ATV competition. 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, not only to have pioneered the MRAP category of vehicles with our Cougar MRAP, but 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. Our troops can’t afford to choose between mobility and survivability; they deserve both and the Cheetah was designed to meet this very requirement.”
The Cheetah provides the same level of survivability as the Cougar at
approximately half the curb weight. The M-ATV Cheetah incorporates several improvements to the original FPI Cheetah, including independent suspension, additional interior capacity, and a significantly increased power-to-weight ratio. Cheetah is well positioned to meet the two most important criteria of the selection process: survivability and mobility.
The strong partnership between Force Protection and General Dynamics Land
Systems as well as a strong suite of OEMs and partners will allow Force
Dynamics to successfully execute on the aggressive procurement schedule
required to deliver this urgently needed survivability solution to the
conflict in Afghanistan. Together, Force Protection and General Dynamics
have successfully delivered over 3,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
(MRAP) Category I and Category II vehicles under the MRAP program. Force
Protection has commenced low-rate production of the Cheetah at its Ladson, South Carolina, facility and Force Dynamics has begun to procure long-lead materials to move from limited to extended production of Cheetah vehicles.
Mike Cannon, chairman of the board for Force Dynamics and vice president,
Ground Combat Systems, at General Dynamics Land Systems, commented, “We are confident that the respective strengths of each of the partners contributing to this effort position our submission extremely well. We believe we offer an unmatched combinatio