Lockheed Martin Not Giving Up on JLTV Fight
Company Officially Protesting Army’s Decision to Contract Oshkosh
According to Defense News, Lockheed Martin will be protesting the U.S. Army’s decision to award a contract to Oshkosh for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. The source quoted by Defense News and other outlets says Lockheed doesn’t take protests lightly, and an official company statement insisted that Lockheed offered the most capable and affordable bid for the U.S. Army’s JLTV.
Last month, the Army selected Oshkosh’s L-ATV (pictured at bottom) instead of the Lockheed Martin JLTV and AM General BRVO as the recipient of a $6 billion contract that would supply the military with nearly 17,000 vehicles. However, over the life of the vehicle type, contract extensions could expand the value of the JLTV program to more than $30 billion. That’s a significant chunk of change we’re sure Lockheed is loath to miss out on.
Following the announcement that the L-ATV was chosen as the Army’s new darling, Lockheed and AM General had 10 days to file protests to the decision. AM General elected not to do so, instead claiming it would focus energy on modernizing the military’s existing fleet of HMMWVs (Humvees), which are expected to serve in the military through 2050. The JLTV program is intended to replace the Humvee in some situations, but the iconic military vehicle will soldier on in certain capacities for another three decades if AM General has its way.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office will have 100 days to review Lockheed Martin’s protest, evaluating things such as the potential for political pressure or biased decision-making on the part of the U.S. Army. However, according to Bloomberg, only 2.4 percent of Defense Department contract protests have been sustained in the past five years, so we wouldn’t count Oshkosh out just yet.