After losing its seat as the incumbent on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program to AM General, Oshkosh Defense has filed a formal bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the award.
“After participating in the government’s post-award debriefing process, we have significant concerns regarding the evaluation of the proposals under the solicitation that support an independent review,” said Tim Bleck, executive vice president Oshkosh Corporation and president Oshkosh Defense. “We believe the Government’s evaluation did not properly review the financial, technical, and manufacturing capabilities offered to select the best value and lowest risk solution to deliver the JLTV.”
On February 9, the Army selected AM General in a surprise upset for the recompete effort with an award totaling $8.66 billion for 20,682 JLTVs and 9,833 trailers.
The loss of the award is a major blow for Oshkosh, which has produced over 19,000 JLTVs since the program began. In the past few months, Oshkosh Defense has been awarded three contracts valued at $730 million to produce 2,000 more vehicles for nine customers. All told, Oshkosh is still under contract to build over 22,679 vehicles, with more orders to come through the end of 2023.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates the Department of Defense will allocate about $53.4 billion for the JLTV program – $1.082 billion for RDT&E and at least $52.298 billion for procurement. According to U.S. Department of Defense budget request documentation, the current revised procurement objective stands at 53,582 vehicles – 49,099 vehicles for the U.S. Army and 4,483 vehicles for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Oshkosh will likely argue along the lines of a Congressional Research Service report that said AM General could initially face higher costs than Oshkosh due to its lack of experience in manufacturing the vehicle. Further exacerbating the cost issue is rising inflation, which will likely push the cost of the vehicles up no matter the contractor.
The independent GAO review of the procurement decision was initiated by Oshkosh on March 6, 2023. The protest must be decided within 100 calendar days, though usually decisions are rendered much sooner.
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