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General Dynamics' (NYSE: GD ) decision to acquire partner Force Protection last year is starting to pay dividends. On Friday, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense announced it will buy 51 new Foxhound armored patrol vehicles from GD for a total cost of $73.7 million -- about $1.4 million apiece.
The purchase is part of an existing plan to purchase $545 million worth of the vehicles -- 376 in total -- for use by British forces operating in Afghanistan.
The Foxhound, Britain's name for the Force Protection-designed Ocelot, is a 7.5-ton, lightweight mine-protected vehicle, intended to be a more agile improvement on the highly successful but somewhat ponderous "MRAP" (mine resistant, ambush protected) vehicle developed during the Iraq war. Its turbocharged diesel engine is said to be able to reach a top speed of 80 mph. The Foxhound inherits the V-shaped hull of its predecessor, but its light weight means the vehicle can be transported to theater aboard a C-17 or C-130 aircraft, or carried on a sling beneath a CH-47 helicopter.
In related news, GD's Land Systems unit announced it is building a new "Super Buffalo" mine-sweeping vehicle to improve on the existing Buffalo system created by Force Protection.