After years of revisions, changes and updates, Oshkosh Defense got to enjoy winning the marathon that is the awarding of the contract for the Humvee-replacement vehicle for two weeks. One of the competitors for the contract, Lockheed Martin, filed a protest over the decision.
Lockheed Martin claims that its version of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) was the best choice of the three options. AM General, which produced the Humvee, also presented a proposed vehicle.
“Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin’s offer,” the company said in a statement. “We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program.”
Not surprisingly, Lockheed has found support for its protest in the form of Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Boozman’s home state would have been the site for Lockheed’s production.
“”I believe Lockheed Martin has valid concerns over the JLTV contract award and under such circumstances, it is appropriate to file a protest and seek an independent review of the contract award by the [Government Accountability Office],” Boozman told Defense News.
(Oshkosh gets contract for Humvee replacement. For more, Click Here.)
The Defense Department has been actively searching for a replacement for the Humvee for the better part of a decade in a process that has gone in fits and spurts, in part, because of the changing needs of the vehicles users.
It all came to an end last week end Oshkosh was awarded a $6.7 billion contract to produce a limited run of vehicles, estimated at about 18,000 units. However, the deal is expected to swell to more than $30 billion as the vehicle run is likely to extend beyond the initial production run, plus any variants that are produced.
This isn’t lost on AM General, which announced that while it’s disappointed its vehicle wasn’t selected, it has no plans to file a protest.
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“AM General continues to believe that the BRV-O was the right choice for JLTV. However, we believe a protest would ultimately result in a distraction from our current growth business areas, including meeting the significant current and future needs of our customers in the United States and around the globe,” the company said in a press release.
The company is focusing on supporting the more than 230,000 Humvees it built and that are currently in service.
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“The JLTV does not and will not replace the HMMWV,“ the company added. “With the JLTV still subject to additional testing and several years away from fielding, the Army and Marine Corps have repeatedly emphasized the need to modernize and maintain the more than 160,000 HMMWVs in their service and ensure the vehicle can meet the requirements of future missions through at least 2050.”