Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday that it is protesting the award of a major contract to build the next generation of ground vehicles, a deal worth up to $30 billion.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the Army awarded the contract to Oshkosh Defense to build what’s known as the joint light tactical vehicle.
AM General, which also lost out, said Tuesday that it will not protest.
The contract to build up to 55,000 vehicles is one of the largest awarded by the Army in years. With work expected to last through 2040, the competition was particularly stiff, and Lockheed’s announcement shows that as defense spending tightens, contractors are willing to fight fiercely for work, especially with so much at stake.
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“We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program,” the Bethesda-based company said in a statement. “Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin’s offer.”
The Lockheed vehicles were developed in Grand Prairie by the company’s Missiles and Fire Control division and would have been built at a plant in Arkansas.
The company declined to elaborate.
While the vehicle would have the agility of the Humvee, able to ford rivers and cruise off-road, it would also be heavily armored and able to withstand the kinds of blasts that took so many lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The initial contract awarded last month was for $6.7 billion for 17,000 vehicles. Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, and the Army would have its first unit equipped with the vehicles in 2018.