The Marine Corps will pay a Lowcountry defense contractor more than $30 million to re-armor its fleet of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, the Marine Corps Times is reporting.
Force Protection Inc., a Ladson-based company that manufacturers ballistic- and blast-protected vehicles, was awarded a contract worth up to $30 million for add-on armor kits on 196 Cougar MRAPs, which the company makes.
The kits will come in the form of thousands of pounds of scalable 11 3/4-inch thick bolt-on plates designed to counter the threat of armor-melting improvised explosive devices laid by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Corps bought 192 kits for the six-wheel Category 2 Cougar and four for the four-wheel Category 1 variant.
The extra armor will add between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds of weight to the MRAPs.
Force Protection expects to deliver the kits early next year, the company said in a statement.