Armored vehicle systems manufacturer Plasan from Kibbutz Sasa has landed another huge contract with the U.S. military for its expanding operations in Afghanistan.

Plasan received a new $170 million order for 1,460 vehicle protection kits as a subcontractor for the Wisconsin-based firm Oshkosh. The kits are for Oshkosh's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles, known as M-ATVs.

The present order will bring to 5,000 the number of vehicles Plasan has armored for the Americans since June 2009, for total revenues of $586 million. All told, Plasan has sold $940 million worth of armor kits to the U.S. military, for 8,079 vehicles.

The M-ATV is a lightweight, maneuverable armored vehicle designed by Oshkosh especially for the rugged terrain in Afghanistan.

Plasan's armor is designed to contain the blast energy from a mine or other explosive device in order to minimize the damage to the soldiers in the vehicle and to critical parts of the vehicle, thereby improving the soldiers' chances of survival. The protection not only isolates the soldiers from the blast, but does so in a way that allows them to escape from the vehicle quickly.

Dan Ziv, president and CEO of Plasan, said: "We are proud of our continued success in meeting this ambitious production schedule. Plasan continues to work with our local subcontractors to meet the growing demand for M-ATVs and exceed our own high expectations for protecting combatants. As soldiers building for soldiers, Plasan understands the vital need for armor solutions."

The war in Afghanistan, and Plasan's contracts, have enabled the Israeli company to increase revenues from NIS 50 million in 2002 to NIS 3 billion in 2009. Profits are estimated to be in the range of 10% of revenues, and the company is one of the biggest employers in the Galilee, with 1,100 workers.

In June 2009, the U.S. Defense Department awarded a $1 billion contract to a team led by Oshkosh and Plasan North America to produce 2,244 M-ATVs for deployment in Afghanistan. Since then, additional orders for M-ATV armor kits have grown on a monthly basis.