WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office has dismissed Lockheed Martin’s protest of the US Army’s decision to award Oshkosh a contract to build its Humvee replacement, it the GAO announced Tuesday.
The GAO dismissed Lockheed's protest because the company on Dec. 11 decided to file a "Notice of Post-Award Bid Protest" with the US Court of Federal Claims. The company will file its official protest on Dec. 17, according to the GAO.
"Our office will not decide a protest where the matter involved is subject of litigation before a court of competent jurisdiction," the GAO writes wrote in its decision. "Based on Lockheed’s submission of its Notice to the US Court of Federal Claims stating its intent to file a protest with the court involving the same subject matter as the protests pending our Office, we are closing our files without further action."
According to a source with knowledge of the procedures, it is uncommon for a company to file with the court close to a GAO protest decision. The GAO was due to make a decision no later than Dec. 17.
Lockheed Martin filed its protest Sept. 8. The company said in a statement at the time: "Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin's offer,." i It said, addeding, : "wWe firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program."
Oshkosh beat out both Humvee-maker AM General and Lockheed for the $6.7 billion low-rate initial production contract award to build 16,901 vehicles, but the entire contract is expected to be worth up to $30 billion.
AM General, which submitted its Blast Resistant Vehicle – Offroad as its bid has decided not to file a protest with the GAO.
"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 world."
Lockheed Martin said Tuesday it could not discuss the GAO decision at the moment.
Oshkosh also announced today following the GAO protest dismissal that the US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command had directed the company to resume work on the JLTV production contract.
"We are pleased that the JLTV production contract, awarded to Oshkosh in August, is now moving forward to deliver the world's most capable light tactical vehicle," retired Army Maj. Gen. John Urias, Oshkosh Defense's executive vice president, said Tuesday in a statement.
"The Army conducted a thorough, methodical procurement including exhaustive testing and evaluation to ensure our troops get the best vehicle," Urias said.
According to an industry source, when Lockheed files its official protest with the court it could also file an injunction to stop work.