General Dynamics will not further protest the Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program, which will replace about 2,900 M113 infantry carriers. (US Army)
WASHINGTON — Just 10 days after having its protest rejected by the US Army Materiel Command, General Dynamics Land Systems announced today that it would not file a more formal protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over its bid on the Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).
While that may be good news for everyone who wants to see the program progress, the Army also announced today that the award for the engineering, manufacturing and design (EMD) portion of the competition, originally scheduled for the first quarter of 2015, would slip to the second quarter.
Army and industry officials contacted for comment were unable to explain the schedule slippage.
General Dynamics spokesman Peter Keating said in a statement that while declining to lodge another protest, “we will continue to discuss the AMPV program with the US Department of Defense and the Congress. We do not believe a GAO protest is the right forum for this issue and we will not file one.”
BAE Systems’ spokesperson Megan Mitchell also emailed a statement saying, “BAE Systems remains focused on delivering a low cost, low risk, highly survivable offering for AMPV that puts our troops’ safety first. We look forward to competing on the merits of our offering against the Army’s requirements.”
The competition between BAE and GD over the AMPV should continue to be heated, as neither company is the prime contractor in the running for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which Oshkosh, AM General, and Lockheed Martin are currently sparring over.
The AMPV, which would replace about 2,900 M113 infantry carriers, is expected to run about $5 billion to $7 billion when all is said and done.
On April 4, the Army Materiel Command rejected GD’s protest disputing the fairness of the AMPV competition, which contended that “the AMPV solicitation provides a competitive advantage” to BAE Systems, since BAE “has years of Army test and performance data” on the M113 personnel carrier.
“In our view, the AMPV procurement process is not consistent with the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, requiring a “full and open competition,” the company said in a statement released at the time.
Despite that, GD has decided to push forward with what is expected to be a variant of the eight-wheeled Stryker vehicle, running against the Bradley variant that BAE Systems will submit. ■