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Life Can Go On -- JLTV Protest Denied

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The Pentagons acquisition community breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Government Accountability denied protests to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program award by Northrop Grumman and Textron.

If this major program protest had been upheld it might well have brought Pentagon acquisition efforts to a slow and painful grind, even slower and more painful than they already suffer from, according to several senior acquisition officials with whom Ive spoken over the last several weeks.

The prose from the Joint Light Tactical vehicle program offices Wednesday afternoon press release was bland. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), today, denied the protests of Northrop Grumman and Textron Marine & Land Systems against the awards of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Technology Development (TD) contracts.

But the prose from some Army sources was vibrant. You could hear literally some in the Army whooping it up that the GAO had found in their favor. However, the Army still faces a very fundamental problem, one it shares with the Marines. It does not have a clear and viable vehicle strategy. The J-8 is working on the issue but the budget is being rebuilt as we speak and the two services are buying an insupportable range of vehicles up-armored Humvees, MRAPs, FCS and JLTVs. And the move to Afghanistan will force purchase of a fairly large quantity of vehicles, leaving the services with less flexibility to make a rational, long-term decision.

-- Colin Clark

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