NORTHROP FILES JLTV PROTEST
07 Nov 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today filed a formal protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a review of the evaluation conducted by the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Source Selection Authority (SSA) to identify development teams for the technical demonstration (TD) phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.
After careful examination of the data presented at the Nov. 5 debriefing, it is apparent that inconsistencies in the bid and evaluation process unfairly placed the Northrop Grumman team at a competitive disadvantage. Northrop Grumman requests that the GAO examine the process, which it believes is marred by unstated requirement changes and arbitrary maturity ratings.
Northrop Grumman offered the best solution for a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, clearly meeting the battlefield needs of our nation’s warfighters. The team developed the most innovative design and at a cost significantly below other alternatives, factors we believe were not given full consideration. Design maturity is clearly a critical element, but innovation does not mean the lack of design maturity. Northrop Grumman’s innovative approach is to give our warfighters the best solution while offering American taxpayers the best value at lowest cost.
The immediate need for this new vehicle is undisputed, but American warfighters deserve more than last year’s model, hastily retrofitted for rapid deployment. In the same development period they can have the protection, maneuverability, and security of a combat vehicle designed from the start to meet 21st Century threats.
Northrop Grumman, and its partner Oshkosh Defense, are requesting the GAO to examine several aspects of this competition, including:
— The SSA misapplied the stated evaluation criteria, elevating maturity level subfactors to a super factor status. The evaluation also reflected an unannounced agency decision to transform the solicitation from a TD phase to a defacto System Design & Development (SDD) effort.
— The SSA relied unreasonably on company self-evaluations of design maturity and failed to conduct an adequate, independent assessment of the submitted designs.
— The value of a demonstrator was not made clear, nor did the SSA make a meaningful assessment of demonstrator vehicles and their relevance to proposed designs.
— Cost was undervalued by the SSA in its determination, disregarding
the significant cost savings offered by Northrop Grumman.