General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems was awarded a contract in April to build ground mobility vehicles for US Special Operations Command. (General Dynamics)
WASHINGTON — US vehicle manufacturers AM General and Navistar are protesting US Special Operations Command’s decision to award a contract to build ground mobility vehicles to General Dynamics, Defense News has learned.
The command on Aug. 21 awarded a contract worth at least $562 million to GD for the Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) 1.1 program, a critical lightweight vehicle that will replace the 1,000 Humvee variants in use by special operators.
The company beat out AM General and Navistar, all of whom were battling to build 1,297 GMVs costing about $245,000 per vehicle. The protest was lodged on Tuesday, according to sources.
Requirements documents released last year said that the GMV would have to weigh less than 7,000 pounds, be able to carry up to seven passengers and be transportable in an M/CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
AM General declined to comment. Navistar spokeswoman Lauren McFarland said “we have requested a review of certain issues that have been identified.” SOCOM did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The protests show just how critical the program is for contractors, now that new-build programs are becoming few and far between. Both AM General and Navistar are looking to drum up business as purchases of Humvees and mine-resistant vehicles have ended.
Oshkosh Defense was eliminated from the competition in January, after which it filed a protest. The protest was withdrawn in April.
Last August, Navistar also protested the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle award going to AM General, Oshkosh and Lockheed Martin, but withdrew the protest three days later.