- THE MAGAZINE
NP Aerospace Limited, a subsidiary of The Morgan Crucible Co. plc, and Force Protection, Inc. recently announced the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture company in the UK, Integrated Survivability Technologies Limited (IST). IST has been awarded the contract for the Wolfhound Tactical Support Vehicle by the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD). The £84 million (about $123 million) contract involves the supply of 97 heavy tactical support vehicles to be supplied over the next 12 months based on the Cougar design. The development will create 50 new jobs within NP Aerospace and the supplier base.
NP Aerospace and Force Protection have worked together to supply mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to the UK MoD, which to date has ordered a total of 447 Mastiff 6 x 6 and Ridgback 4 x 4. Both are based on the Force Protection Cougar vehicle, and NP Aerospace carries out the integration and armoring work. These vehicles are in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UK MoD has also ordered 14 Force Protection Buffalo route clearance vehicles.
The establishment of IST marks a significant new chapter in the partnership between NP Aerospace and Force Protection. It is IST's aim to become a single point of contact and design authority for all existing and future business related to the Cougar- and Buffalo-based vehicles in the UK.
“This is a further exciting development for the NP Aerospace business, securing a long-term strategic relationship with Force Protection and providing our customer with a truly integrated product offering,” said Mark Robertshaw, chief executive officer (CEO) of Morgan Crucible. “I am confident that this contract, which will provide NP Aerospace itself with revenue of in excess of £30 million (~ $44 million), will be the start of a very successful future for our joint venture.”
Michael Moody, Force Protection CEO and chairman of IST, said, “Much like the Wolfhound vehicle requirement, Force Protection and NP Aerospace have come a long way in a very short time. We have established a partnership in the United Kingdom that we believe will become the base for growing our relationship with the UK Ministry of Defense. One of the key elements in our success is the way we work with our strategic partners, and this proven formula is now being applied to the UK market. We are confident that it will bring benefits most importantly to the UK forces operating in hostile environments around the globe.”
According to Mike Linton, managing director of IST and previously manufacturing director of NP Aerospace, “Force Protection and NP Aerospace have been working successfully to bring these vitally important vehicles into theatre. Our new, integrated operation here in the UK will bring tangible benefits in terms of an enhanced ability to tailor our vehicle solutions to customer needs. A direct commercial relationship with the companies working on the integration of Force Protection vehicles will also result in more efficient development and production programs, saving the customer both time and money.
“IST will combine prime contractor and design authority functions, which will enable MoD to place the appropriate delivery and support risks with industry. As the design authority for the UK fleet of Cougar variants, IST can also take a coherent approach to issues such as electronics architecture, human factors interfaces, antennae solutions and power management systems, together with integration of the MoD’s Defense Lines of Development. We shall also be ideally placed to provide a coherent support solution strategy for all UK variants of the Cougar, taking advantage, where appropriate, of initiatives being explored in the U.S. fleet.”
For more information, visit www.morgancrucible.com, www.np-aerospace.co.uk or www.forceprotection.net.