Shares of Force Protection (FRPT) - Get Report surged 20% Friday after the beleaguered military-vehicle maker snagged nearly $124 million in new orders.

The biggest contract came from the U.K. Ministry of Defense, which placed an order for 174 of Force Protection's Cougar mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPs. The contract is valued at about $115.2 million.

The Ladson, S.C., company also received an $8.4 million order from the Italian Ministry of Defense for 10 MRAPs.

Shares of Force Protection recently were up 85 cents to $5.13.

Still, shares are trading far below their once lofty levels. The stock, once a $30 highflier, plummeted late last year as the niche company lost MRAP market share to larger rivals


( NAVZ) and

BAE Systems

. The issue came to a head in December, when Force Protection received only a

small piece of a massive government order.

Meanwhile, the military has signaled that it might

scale back on its MRAP program, meaning fewer orders of the company's main product overall.

This article was written by a staff member of