OKLAHOMA CITY -- Ceradyne ( CRDN) pulled a lot of triple shifts -- with its engineers sleeping in their cars -- on its way to becoming an "overnight sensation." To outsiders, Ceradyne seemed to burst out of nowhere to become the newest maker of mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. Best known as a supplier of body armor, the company made headlines last month when it secured a coveted award under the multibillion-dollar MRAP II program. Ceradyne beat out five other bidders -- including MRAP heavyweights Navistar ( NAVZ) and Force Protection ( FRPT) -- to declare victory. Only BAE Systems, an established MRAP player, managed a similar award. "We weren't surprised at all," says Marc King, vice president of armor operations for Ceradyne. "We knew we had a system that would meet all of the requirements ... I don't want to come across as cocky, but as the old saying in the Army goes, 'It ain't bragging if you know you can back it up." Together with its partners, Oshkosh ( OSK) and closely held Ideal Innovations, Ceradyne created a next-generation MRAP, known as the Bull, that can withstand hits from even powerful "explosively formed penetrators." The military responded with an $18.1 million award calling for six more test Bulls, which could open the door for a full-blown production order down the road. The stakes look downright astronomical. Ceradyne currently relies on body armor for most of its $750 million in annual revenue, with vehicle-related supplies accounting for just $10 million or so of that total. But Ceradyne has estimated that future orders for its Bulls could bring in another $287 million -- and potentially four times that amount -- going forward.