The US Marine Corps has awarded a $48.9m contract to ballistic- and blast-protected vehicles manufacturer Force Protection in South Carolina to install independent-suspension kit upgrades on existing war-zone vehicles.

Under the phase 2 contract, the company will upgrade 1,317 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.

The work will be carried out by Force Protection field representatives in collaboration with the Oshkosh Corporation, and is expected to be complete by February 2010.