Northrop files protest over JLTV design awards

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.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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