Defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. on Tuesday confirmed it's protesting the U.S. Army's decision to award truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. the contract to build a replacement to the iconic Humvee.
The move came less than two weeks after the the Army awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion contract to build the first 17,000 production models of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
The work could eventually be worth some $30 billion, as the Army and Marine Corps plan to buy a total of nearly 55,000 of the combat vehicles, including 49,100 for the Army and 5,500 for the Corps, to replace about a third of the Humvee fleets.
"After evaluating the data provided at our debrief, Lockheed Martin has filed a protest of the award decision on the JLTV program," according to a statement from the company. "We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program. Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin’s offer."
Interesting, the other competitor in the program, Humvee-maker AM General LLC, won't protest the decision and instead will focus on maintaining and upgrading the existing inventory of Humvees in the U.S. and abroad.
"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," according to a statement from the company.
"Specifically, with approximately 230,000 HMMWVs currently serving as integral tactical vehicles of fleets around the world, AM General has a critical role in ensuring these vehicles remain mission ready and as capable as possible, to include the most innovative survivability and communications capability available only from AM General, now and into the future," it stated.
Driving the point home, the company on Tuesday announced that it had received a six-year $428 million contract to supply the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard with Humvee ambulance variants.
"We are pleased to continue to support the active and future use of the more than 160,000 HMMWV’s currently in service as part of U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Reserves and National Guard fleets," Chris Vanslager, AM General's vice president of programs and business development, said in a separate release. "This contract is yet another example of the ongoing critical operational need for the HMMWV and how AM General remains the unmatched leader in modernizing and maintaining the HMMWV fleet in the United States and around the world."
The company said it also has an agreement for foreign military sales to supply Humvees to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Ukraine and Tunisia.