base. For these reasons, the MRAP JPO accepted risk early in the program, awarding a sole-source contract for FPII Cougar and Buffalo vehicles, prior to the start of developmental testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
FPII currently manufactures MRAP vehicles at its Ladson, SC, facility, operates a blast and ballistic testing facility at Edgefield, SC, and conducts research and development at a facility in Summerville, SC. In addition, FPII acquired a separate production facility in Roxboro, SC, and entered into agreements with other manufacturers to expand capacity if necessary. The company currently employs approximately 1,500 personnel, down from a peak of over 2,000 at the end of 2007 (Walsh, 2008a, August 6). Unlike other MRAP producers, FPII business is dedicated almost exclusively to MRAP vehicles. Consequently, the long-term sustainability of the current size and work force of FPII is uncertain given the expected short duration of the MRAP program.
The primary products from FPII are the Buffalo (CAT III) and Cougar family of vehicles (in CAT I and II versions) as shown in Figures 16 and 17. The company is also developing a smaller line of vehicles, called the Cheetah, which attempts to combine the survivability of the larger MRAPs with the size and mobility of the HMMWV. The DoD tested the Cheetah as part of MRAP II but has not procured any of those vehicles for fielding. The biggest FPII customer is the U.S. DoD with the bulk of vehicles going to the Marine Corps. It has also sold vehicles through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Italy, and France and is forming a partnership with a British company to streamline sales to the United Kingdom, effectively bypassing FMS (Walsh, 2008a, August 6).