Northrop disputes Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program award
- By William Welsh
- Nov 17, 2008
Northrop Grumman Corp. has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office asserting that inconsistencies in the selection process put it at a competitive disadvantage for the technology development phase of the Army’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
The source-selection process was “marred by unstated requirement changes and arbitrary maturity ratings,” the company said in a statement issued Nov. 7.
Among its criticisms, Northrop Grumman said its design cost significantly less than that of its competitors, a factor it said was not given sufficient consideration.
Northrop Grumman also argued that the source-selection authority relied too heavily on companies’ self-evaluations of design maturity and did not conduct an independent assessment. Moreover, Northrop Grumman contends that the source-selection authority failed to emphasize the importance of providing a demonstrator vehicle.
On Oct. 29, the Army announced its intention to award technology development contracts to three teams: Lockheed Martin/BAE Systems, BAE/Navistar and General Tactical Vehicles, a joint venture of General Dynamics and AM General. Seven teams bid on the development phase.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program was established to augment and ultimately replace Humvees with a more survivable group of vehicles that have greater payloads. A number of U.S. allies have expressed interest in the vehicles.
William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.