The Plasan armor protection manufacturing company, owned by Kibbutz Sasa, will help fight organized crime in Mexico. The Israeli company has won a bid of approximately NIS 130 million (about $35 million) to supply some 250 armored vehicles to the Mexican ministry of defense.
The vehicles will be used by the defense ministry's special forces to fight organized crime in urban areas in Mexico.
A Mexican website quoted a spokesman for the defense ministry as saying that the Sand Cat 2 vehicles are based on a model used by the US military, which has been adjusted to Mexico's needs. It is based on the chassis of a Ford commercial vehicle.
The vehicle is automatic, can carry up to 2 tons and eight soldiers, and is equipped with a GPS system.
Plasan entered the bid through Oshkosh, the American leading defense vehicles manufacturer, with which Plasan won recent US Army bids. In 2009, the company won an American military bid worth NIS 1.2 billion ($330 million). Plasan builds the materials used to shield the vehicle and offers fortification solutions.
The company's sales jumped when the US Army entered Afghanistan and Iraq, due to the need to fortify vehicles against roadside explosive charges. In the past four years, Plasan has fortified some 20,000 US Army vehicles. During this period its sales rose by 485% to $850 million, while the profit was up 760% to $200 million.
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