The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is the Army’s bid to replace the aging, under-armored M113, shown here in Vietnam.

On Monday, the top spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, Peter Keating, told me GDLS could not compete for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (APMV) program unless the Army changed how it ran the competition. Today, as even Keating expected, the Army officially denied the GDLS protest. Breaking Defense obtained a copy of the decision just an hour ago. We’ve already received statements from Army Materiel Command, General Dynamics and its rival BAE Systems, the odds-on favorite to win the contract. You can read all these documents below and click here to read our analysis of the AMPV program and why General Dynamics protested in the first place.

Up next: GD must decide whether to appeal to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), take the Army to court, or give up. We’ve betting they go to GAO.

Army Ruling Rejecting General Dynamics AMPV Protest

(If the embedded image above doesn’t work for you, you can also read the document here).


General Dynamics’ statement in response:

General Dynamics Land Systems filed a protest on February 14, 2014, with the Army Materiel Command regarding the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Request for Proposal.

We took this action because we believe the data provided by the Army is insufficient for us to effectively respond to the RFP.  While the Army did provide thousands of documents, the data is incomplete because there are multiple references to other documents which were not provided.  We made several unsuccessful attempts to receive the additional data from the Army. 

We believe the AMPV solicitation provides a competitive advantage to another company, the manufacturer of the M113 vehicles.  This company has years of Army test and performance data, and an Army acknowledged eighteen-month lead on the market.  In our view, the AMPV procurement process is not consistent with the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, requiring a “full and open competition.”

General Dynamics Land Systems asked the Army many times to have a dialogue about our concerns.  When the Army did not respond to our repeated requests, we asked for a detailed response to the concerns we had raised in the Agency protest. 

We are in the process of reviewing the Army’s decision and will determine our next step to assess how we can secure a fair opportunity to be in the running for the AMPV program.


Here’s what the Army had to say:

U.S. Army Materiel Command issued a decision on April 4, in response to a protest filed by General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. (GDLS), on February 14, 2014.  GDLS’s protest was lodged against the Army’s solicitation for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (“AMPV”) program.  The protest was decided under the AMC’s Bid Protest Program Procedures, an alternate dispute resolution forum, where the AMC Command Counsel, Brian E. Toland, independently reviews protests to determine if an acquisition is being conducted in accordance with law and regulation.  GDLS argued that the solicitation gives an unfair advantage to competitor BAE Systems, Inc. (“BAE”), unduly restricted competition, and failed to provide adequate information and time for preparation of proposals.  Toland found in the Army’s favor, determining that the solicitation — undertaken by the Army Contracting Command office at Warren, Michigan, for the Program Executive Office-Ground Combat Systems and the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command — provided adequate information and time for contractors to develop proposals, and that the solicitation requirements did not unfairly favor any competitor.


And finally, BAE’s only slightly smug response:

BAE Systems is pleased that the Army has made the decision to continue to move forward with the AMPV solicitation, a key priority for the service and our soldiers. The Army has an immediate need to replace an aging Vietnam-era vehicle and fill a critical capability gap for our armored forces. Cost savings, political expediency and business reasons do not justify putting soldiers’ lives at risk. The Army has had this solicitation in the works for two years and has adjusted requirements based on industry feedback to accommodate the broadest number of competitive offerings possible. BAE Systems looks forward to submitting a competitive and compliant AMPV bid that will fulfill an immediate need for improved survivability, force protection, mobility, reliability, and mission equipment integration. We welcome the opportunity to compete on the merits of our offering against the Army’s requirements.


  • Gary Church

    Uh-huh. But what does it all really mean? Who owns what politicians and what generals are going to “consult” for what company when they retire?

    That is the information that really informs and no one knows it except the Generals, the politicians, and the defense industry (BAE it looks like in this case). It has little or nothing to do with what our soldiers need. Welcome to America in the 21st century.

  • Hawk

    Ultimately GDLS is trying to protest the requirement — developed and written by the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence — to try and force the Army to buy Strykers (which, if that’s what MCoE wanted, would have been very easy to buy outright without all this AMPV rigamarole). The Army looks to have bent over backwards already to try and level the playing field for GD and other competitors — they’ve significantly extended the EMD period, raised the cost cap for vehicles, kept the type of solution generic, and offered exchange vehicles that don’t have to be used — they could be sold off to reduce cost. The Army would have been perfectly within its rights, if what it wanted was a modified Bradley, to solicit for Bradley modifications instead, or to have required bid sample vehicles to be presented as part of the RFP. Other companies are probably considering bidding; it’s interesting that none of them have publicly complained.

  • Gary Church

    The only way they are going to get something as well protected as an MRAP that has any mobility off-road is take a Main Battle Tank chassis and convert it.
    Of course that does not fit any of the products being peddled and so is not even being entertained. Which exposes this dirty filthy rotten scam for what it is; business as usual.

    • Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

      I wouldn’t say it’s a scam. Yes, a converted main battle tank is an option for a heavily protected troop carrier — that’s what the Israelis did with captured Soviet-made tanks to produce the Achzarit — but there’s not as much space for troops and it’s awkward for them to get out unless you rebuild the chassis significantly to add an exit ramp.
      Besides, existing MBTs are designed to protect against incoming anti-tank shots, especially from the front: They much less well protected against underbody attacks such as IEDs. Conversely, a much lighter — and less expensive — vehicle can be built with a good level of underbody protection if that’s in the initial design spec.
      I personally think the US Army needs some super-heavy, MBT-sized troop carriers for high-intensity urban combat — that’s what the Ground Combat Vehicle could have been — but such vehicles would weigh and cost so much it’d be impractical to mount the whole army in them. A Stryker or Bradley-type vehicle seems a perfectly reasonable solution to do every job except spearheading the assault, which is not part of the AMPV mission.

      • Mike

        Sidney, Gary posted some very good pictures of what the IDF did with those Russian tanks in making them armored personnel carriers… If you have any connections to the IDF you might find it enlightening how they do things and the bang they get for the dollar invested….. In many respects, Made (or modified) in Israel of most any piece of combat gear is, in my opinion, superior to what we are giving our troops and we are spending far more for our issue……..
        With this last Supreme Court decision, the “buying” of our Congress has now entered an ever more damaging period…. Personally, I feel a new Constitutional Amendment (relative to campaign contributions) coming on…..

        • Gary Church

          A corporation is a person under the law with the rights of a person. Unfortunately that corporate “person” has the exact same attributes as a psychopath. Really. It’s true. And these “people” can now anonymously contribute as much money as they want to politicians of their choosing. These “people” have merged into super corporations (a serial killer would be the human counterpart) with one goal; the goal of the human psychopath being self-gratification and the goal of the corporate psychopath being profit.
          The ONLY thing that matters to these companies is profit. Not defending our nation, not equipping our soldiers, not doing what is right and human; PROFIT! And the first step in making those profits is to promise Generals and public servants high paying jobs and plush consulting gigs.
          This country is in big trouble. And personally I consider this program, after our IED experience to be the perfect illustration and a huge red flag.
          Why don’t you write about that Sydney? I will pay you what I can for your time (actually I can’t pay you anything but I would if I could). How about it?

      • Gary Church

        “-such vehicles would weigh and cost so much it’d be impractical to mount the whole army in them.”
        “scam) is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence, in the classical sense of trust.”

        Sydney, I greatly appreciate your work and the opportunity you have provided for me to comment on these issues. This is the one scam that makes my crazy angry because of the wounded soldiers I have seen up close. We spend billions on people in fighter planes and billions on ballistic missile defense and billions on nuclear aircraft carriers and billions on this and billion on that.
        I am not buying that. No way. No sir. I know how much armored vehicles cost and how much maintenance they require and how much fuel they burn and how much they tear up the roads.
        No one is talking about how much dead soldiers “cost.”
        A French study[19] showed that in Iraq, from March 2003 to November 2006, on a global 3,070 deaths in the US-led Coalition soldiers, 1,257 were caused by IEDs, i.e. 41%. That is to say more than in the “normal fights” (1027 dead, 34%).

        One thousand dead soldiers in just that three year period. And tens of thousands maimed and brain injured.


  • Gary Church

    The popular anecdote concerning the military is the military always prepares to fight the last war. As our adventures overseas this time around draw to an unhappy close we as citizens of this nation are once again showing some concern for what our military is doing with our tax dollars. Very little concern because most Americans have been totally deceived about what an effective military force should be for the vast treasure being poured into the DOD black hole.
    Support the troops! That is all that is required it seems to get away with stealing hundreds of billions of tax dollars. What do we as Americans get for this vast unimaginable fortune?
    Failed programs and excuses and military industrial complex B.S. Reading these articles on Breaking Defense over the last few weeks has really turned the light bulb on for me.
    The defense business is rotten to the core. Corrupt. It cannot even accomplish the simplest and most basic task of giving soldiers the right weapons and protection. Not enough profit compared to jets and nukes so they scheme and manipulate to squeeze every penny they can.
    Makes me want to slap some of these thieves up the side of the head. It is criminal and since not a single politician representing those thousand dead soldiers is call our thousand generals on the carpet about it- I can only assume they are just as corrupt or guilty of criminal negligence.

    • Gary Church

      Jeez, I can’t even finish a comment without getting upset; a thousand military funerals should motivate our representatives to call our thousand generals on the carpet and give them a choice of either doing their jobs or finding other employment. That this is not happening indicates the rot is everywhere; Industy, Military, and Government. And with a dumbed down population the scam will continue.
      It is time for a grass roots organization like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers to appear. Except, as I have commented before, with billions in defense profits at stake I suspect the members of such an organization would find themselves impoverished or incarcerated in short order.

      • Gary Church

        Thousands of U.S. soldiers dead and tens of thousands maimed and brain injured for life because of lightly armored vehicles. And the scam goes on.