Oshkosh Defense won a major initial contract from the U.S. Army on Tuesday to build a new fleet of armored vehicles that will soon replace the Humvee, the Washington Post reported. Under the contract, which could eventually be worth up to $30 billion, Oshkosh is set to build roughly 50,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and about 5,500 for the Marine Corps through 2040.
The initial contract including its options is valued at $6.75 billion for 17,000 vehicles, and production of the new vehicles is scheduled to begin the first quarter of fiscal 2016 with the Army having its first unit fortified with the vehicles in 2018.
The contract is a major win for Wisconsin-based Oshkosh and they beat out two competitors for the deal: Lockheed Martin Corp. and AM General, the maker of the Army's current vehicle, the Humvee, BloombergBusiness reported. Oshkosh is ranked as the 99th-largest U.S. government contractor as of fiscal 2014 while Lockheed was ranked as No. 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Oshkosh has been building tactical vehicles for the Department of Defense for 90 years, so no other company understands the role that tactical vehicles play in our troops’ lives better than Oshkosh,” said Charles Szews, the company’s chief executive officer, in a statement, BloombergBusiness reported.
Losing bidders have 10 days to lodge a protest with the Government Accountability Office. Lockheed has suggested in a statement that they might move forward with a protest.
“We believe we presented a very strong solution and await the customers’ debrief to hear more detail regarding the reasons behind this selection before making a decision about a potential protest,” Lockheed said in a statement, BloombergBusiness reported.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is designed to have the protective armor of a tank but be more mobile and light, similar to a Jeep. Charles Szews, Oshkosh’s chief executive, told the Washington Post that it is “one extreme mobility vehicle.”
“And it looks kind of mean, which is good for a military vehicle,” said Szews, the Post reported.
The new trucks promise greater protection against mines and roadside bombs and meet the Army's requirements of a four-wheeled truck being able to carry two to four personnel while still being light enough to be carried by air, The Wall Street Journal reported.