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improve the quality of life of the country’s people” (Council for Scientific and Industrial

Research, 2008). Out of this research came the basic MRAP technology

(Walsh, armored

2008a, August 6).

Namely, this includes a monocoque,

hull

to

deflect

the

force

of

a

blast

outward

from

the

vehicle.

raised,

used today V-shaped,

A young chemist named Dr. Vernon Joynt was one of the lead scientists working on the counter-mine program for CSIR. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Joynt, along with a Rhodesian Special Air Service officer, Garth Barrett, brought the MRAP technology to the United States with the goal of capitalizing on the then-prevalent humanitarian de- mining operations being sponsored by the United Nations. They developed a three- vehicle concept for route clearance operations and in 1997 formed a company called

Technical Solutions Group (TSG). Within this concept, one vehicle provided second vehicle searched for mines or IEDs using ground penetrating radar sensors, and the final vehicle (the Buffalo) interrogated potential threats using

arm and claw Protection, Inc.

(2008a, August and went public

6).

In 2002, the company

on the NASDAQ exchange.

was

purchased

security, a and other its robotic by Force

The U.S. Army first purchased an FPII (TSG at that time) vehicle in 2000, when Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM), in an effort to find a mine protected clearance vehicle, bought one Buffalo for testing under a Foreign Comparative Test Program.22 In 2001, the Army bought another Buffalo for testing and in 2002 bought 10 more for contingency purposes. Between then and 2006, the Army bought an additional 76 Buffalos and the Marine Corps began purchasing Buffalos and a smaller MRAP variant and forerunner to the Cougar vehicle, the JERRV (Inspector General, 2007, pp. 5-6). This gradual build-up of sales enabled FPII to grow from 150 employees and $10 million in revenue in 2004 to 750 employees and nearly $200 million in revenue in 2006 (Walsh, 2008a, August 6). In addition, these early sales positioned FPII as the leader in the MRAP program that started in November 2006. Not only did FPII have the only products that had been tested and used in Iraq, they also had an active production

22 This program leverages foreign technology to meet requirements, thereby avoiding redundant

research and development and lowering procurement cost and time (Office of the Secretary of Defense, n.d.).

69

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