MoD selects ‘Best of British’ patrol vehicle

OcelotForce Protection Europe, a British company based in Leamington Spa, has been selected by the UK MoD to supply an initial order of Ocelot Light Protected Patrol Vehicles.

Designed, developed and built in the UK by Force Protection Europe and Ricardo plc, together with Team Ocelot partners Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, DSG and Sula, Ocelot is weight for weight, the best protected and most agile vehicle of its kind. The crew and passengers sit inside a protective pod made of advanced composite materials incorporating Formula 1 racing technology. Beneath them critical components such as the engine, fuel tank and transmission are contained in a V-shaped armoured spine that deflects a blast away from the vehicle.

Ocelot is highly flexible: the pods can be changed in the field in two hours to equip the vehicle for different missions, such as patrol, fire support or the transportation of vital supplies. Eye-catchingly manoeuvrable, Ocelot is equally effective in built-up urban areas and mountain passes.

While protecting crew within the vehicle has always been the first priority, Ocelot has also been designed from the outset to be easily repaired and maintained in the austere environment of a forward operating base. The armoured V-shaped hull houses the main fuel tank, drive line, batteries and generator and the powerpack; this means these vital components are all protected from potential blasts. Not only will this design reduce repair times and costs, because the Ocelot does not include sacrificial elements as part of its protection package, but crucially it also enhances the availability of vehicles for operations in-theatre.
Force Protection Europe Ltd’s Managing Director, David Hind, said: ‘This is excellent news for UK servicemen and women, and for the UK defence industry. Ocelot has been designed and developed in the UK from first principles, with our Team Ocelot partners, to save lives, protect against injury and to optimise maintenance and reparability. We are very proud that, subject to the outcome of satisfactory contract negotiations, the MoD has recognised the innovation, skill and commitment that has been put into Ocelot’s development and the trust they have placed in Force Protection Europe. Ocelot meets a global demand for a radically new light protected patrol vehicle. This initial vote of confidence by the UK MoD will send a significant signal to other potential customers.’

Dave Shemmans, CEO of Ricardo plc, said: ‘We are delighted that Force Protection Europe and Team Ocelot have been selected as the preferred bidder for this vitally important UK defence programme. We are also very proud of the key role Ricardo’s automotive design expertise has played in creating this truly exceptional vehicle.’

-Ends-

Force Protection Europe Ltd: Victoria Bailey or Mark Broughton at CMS Strategic on +44 (0)208 748 9797 or info@cmsstrategic.com
Ricardo UK Ltd: Anthony Smith in the Ricardo Media Office on +44 (0)1273 382710 or media@ricardo.com

Background information:
About Team Ocelot: Team Ocelot brings together a number of contractors, specialist and best in class development and manufacturing companies and systems integrators, under the umbrella of Force Protection Europe, as the prime contractor and survivability specialist , to design, develop, manufacture and support the next generation of light protected vehicles for the defence market in the United Kingdom. The design provides the very best levels of protection for troops – comparable with the Cougar family of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles – while also offering exceptional cross country mobility, flexibility and value for money. The vehicles’ unique modular design, protects the occupants and also its critical components from mine and blast threats, and enables rapid mission re-roling. Growth for payload, power management and incremental uplift are designed in from the outset. The Team consists of, Force Protection Europe, Ricardo Plc, Thales UK, QinetiQ, Formaplex, Sula Systems and the Defence Support Group.

Force Protection Europe Ltd (FPE) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Force Protection Industries, Inc. (FPII) – the world’s leading provider of survivability solutions. FPII’s Cougar MPRAP vehicles (in service with the British Army as Mastiff, Ridgback and Wolfhound) are acknowledged globally as providing the highest levels of blast protection. FPE has been established to create a UK leader in the provision and sustainment of survivability solutions based on tactical wheeled vehicles. http://www.forceprotection.net

Ricardo plc: With technical centres and offices in the UK, USA, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Russia, China, Japan, India and Korea, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and strategic consultant to the world’s transportation sector and clean energy industries. The company’s engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies, as well as wind energy and tidal power systems. Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge; approximately 70 percent of its employees are highly qualified multi-disciplined professional engineers and technicians. A public company, Ricardo plc posted sales of £178.8 million in financial year 2009 and is a constituent of the FTSE techMark 100 index – a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit http://www.ricardo.com

Force Protection, Inc. Safe Harbor Language
This press release contains forward looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of Force Protection Inc.’s management, and on information currently available to management. These forward looking statements include, among other things: the growth and demand for Force Protection Inc.’s vehicles, including the Ocelot vehicle; the benefits and suitability of the Ocelot; the rate at which the Company will be able to produce these vehicles; its expected work completion dates for the vehicles and the ability to meet current and future requirements; and the Company’s expected financial and operating results, including its revenues and cash flow, for future periods. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any of them publicly in light of new information or future events. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the ability to effectively manage the risks in the Company’s business; the ability to develop new technologies and products and the acceptance of these technologies and products; the ability to obtain and complete new orders for its vehicles and products; and other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

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