A Lowcountry company that manufactures armored vehicles is laying off about 100 workers.
Force Protection Incorporated, a manufacturer based in the Charleston suburb of Ladson, builds Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs). The company has several million dollars worth of contracts with the U.S. and British militaries.
Force Protection grew into a major supplier of the vehicles during the Iraq War, after roadside bombs and IEDs exposed the dangers of driving the streets of Baghdad in a Humvee. The Defense Department quickly began a contract with the company in 2004 to build more than 4,000 Cougar MRAPs, which are designed to withstand mine explosions and small arms fire. Military officials say the vehicles have saved the lives of possibly hundreds of soldiers.
But the company has struggled financially in recent years as the military has begun buying more from its rivals. Force Protection announced Monday it would lay off about 100 employees, mostly at its Ladson plant. The company still employs nearly 1,000 employees overall.