UK-based Force Protection Europe is hoping to attract interest from the Gulf in its new light-protected patrol vehicle (LPPV), the Ocelot.

Force Protection Europe is currently launching the vehicle for the first time in the Middle East at the International Defence Exhibition & conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi, the region’s largest defence and security event. Although the company has worked in the region for the last three years, it has only recently established a presence in the UAE.

With the Gulf countries all shoring up their defences, the company’s key target areas is the UAE and potentially Saudi Arabia.

“We are scoping out the Middle East and the UAE in particular,” says David Hind, managing director of Force Protection Europe.

The company has already signed a £180m ($291m) contract to supply 200 of the Foxhound variant of the vehicle to the UK’s Ministry of Defence by the first half of 2012. The two sides are also in talks for a further 200.

The Ocelot will replace the Land Rover Snatch patrol vehicle, which has proved vulnerable to roadside bombs. The vehicle has a unique modular design and an armoured V-shaped hull that runs along the length of the vehicle to protect occupants and critical components from mine and blast threats. The Ocelot consists of three main components and these can be easily swapped to suit different missions worldwide.