Worker attaching a tire on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
Washington - AFP
Defense giant Lockheed Martin is protesting the US military's recent decision on who will build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the all-purpose armored truck that will replace thousands of Humvees.
The Army on August 25 announced a $6.75 billion contract for the Wisconsin-based manufacturer Oshkosh to build the JLTV.
The first phase will see production of nearly 17,000 vehicles but the deal could be worth as much as $30 billion by 2040, as the Army and Marine Corps plan to buy a total of about 55,000 by then.
"After evaluating the data provided at our debrief, Lockheed Martin has filed a protest of the award decision on the JLTV program," Lockheed Martin said in a statement Tuesday.
"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."
The US Government Accountability Office, which acts as a referee in cases like this, now has 100 days -- until December 17 -- to review the protest and determine its validity.
The Humvee, praised for its speed and ubiquity, became an enduring symbol of American military power but ran into problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it was vulnerable to roadside bombs.
AM General, which builds the Humvee, said it would not be protesting the JLTV contract decision.
"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," AM General said in a statement.