"Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin's offer," the defense giant said in a statement obtained by Defense News. "We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program."
The contract is valued at around $6.7 billion and will cover production of just over 18,000 vehicles. Over the life of production, though, the cost is expected to sit in the $30-billion range. Not surprisingly, Lockheed has some support in Congress from Arkansas republican senator and Senate Appropriations Committee member John Boozman, whose state would have been responsible for JLTV production.
"I believe Lockheed Martin has valid concerns over the JLTV contract award and under such circumstances, it is appropriate to file a protest and seek an independent review of the contract award by the [Government Accountability Office]," Boozman told DN.
The third competitor in the JLTV program, Humvee manufacturer AM General, has made waves over its decision not to protest the Army's decision.
"AM General continues to believe that the BRV-O was the right choice for JLTV. However, 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," the company said in a press release.
AM General has built some 230,000 Humvees, and argues that its role in maintaining and modernizing the 160,000 off-roaders still in service takes precedence over arguing the JLTV contract. The Indiana-based manufacturer claims it's working to keep the military's bread-and-butter vehicle relevant through 2050, giving it an effective service life of over six decades.
Read on for the official statement from AM General.
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AM General LLC released the following statement on the Pentagon's recent Joint Light Tactical Vehicle decision attributed to a company spokesman:
For more than 50 years, AM General has been the world leader in Light Tactical Vehicle production for the U.S. Military and forces around the world. We believe that our Blast Resistant Vehicle - Offroad (BRV-O) continues that tradition and represented the best value solution for the JLTV program providing unmatched capability, world-class survivability, and outstanding performance for the Army and Marine Corps.
AM General continues to believe that the BRV-O was the right choice for JLTV. However, 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. 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.
The JLTV does not and will not replace the HMMWV. With the JLTV still subject to additional testing and several years away from fielding, the Army and Marine Corps have repeatedly emphasized the need to modernize and maintain the more than 160,000 HMMWVs in their service and ensure the vehicle can meet the requirements of future missions through at least 2050.
AM General intends to aggressively develop and execute, in partnership with the Army and Marine Corps, a comprehensive HMMWV modernization and maintenance program to service current and future light tactical vehicle fleets in the United States and around the world. The need for this program is recognized and supported by a strong, bipartisan coalition in Congress who stand ready to work with the Army and Marine Corps to accelerate this critical modernization program in order to meet the operational needs of our military -- and customers around the world -- right now and for decades to come.
No one has more light tactical vehicle experience than AM General and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to leverage our five decades of expertise in the design, engineering, protection, and manufacturing of this iconic vehicle on behalf our Army, Marine Corps, and international customers.
About AM General
AM General designs, engineers, manufactures, supplies and supports specialized vehicles for military and commercial customers worldwide. Through its military business, the company is widely recognized as the world leader in design, engineer, manufacture and support of Light Tactical Vehicles, having produced and sustained more than 300,000 vehicles in over 60 countries. Its growing Commercial business includes its wholly owned subsidiary, Mobility Ventures, designer and manufacturer of the acclaimed MV-1, the only American made vehicle specifically engineered from the ground up in support of wheelchair users and people with disabilities. AM General is also proud to have been selected by Mercedes-Benz to be its only contract manufacturer in the United States, producing the R-Class vehicle in Mishawaka, Indiana. AM General has more than five decades of experience meeting the changing needs of the defense and automotive industries, supported by its employees at major facilities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and a strong supplier base that stretches across 43 states. Please see more information about AM General at www.amgeneral.com.