Lockheed Martin Corp. said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon over its decision to award a $6.75 billion contract to Oshkosh Corp. for the replacement of the U.S. Army's Humvee combat vehicles. A hearing in the matter is reportedly scheduled for Friday.
“After careful consideration of all options, Lockheed Martin decided to file a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims concerning our Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract award process,” the Maryland-based defense contractor said, in a statement, according to Bloomberg. “We look forward to working with all parties involved on the next steps.”
In August, Lockheed filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office after the U.S. Army gave the first 17,000 of an estimated 55,000 JLTV fleet manufacturing contract to Oshkosh. However, the GAO rejected the challenge despite the late discovery of several documents that Lockheed said provided new grounds for protest. The Army will reportedly spend about $30 billion to buy these multipurpose vehicles through 2040.
On Tuesday, Wisconsin-based Oshkosh recommenced its work on the project, a day before the suit was filed in the Court of Federal Claims. It remained unclear whether Lockheed sought an injunction that would force Oshkosh to again stop work.
"We are hopeful that this latest protest filing will not be permitted to further delay the JLTV program and delivery of these vehicles to provide greater protection for our troops in future missions," an Oshkosh spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.
Oshkosh Vice President John Urias said he believed the court will uphold the Army’s selection, Bloomberg reported.
According to defense analyst Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners, Lockheed’s decision to take the matter to court indicates that it has limited confidence that the GAO would overturn the original August award, the Journal reported.
In recent years, protests over defense contracts have become increasingly common because of a relative lack of long-term military equipment deals.