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GAO Denies GCV Protest

In a Dec. 5, 2011 decision, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied SAIC’s protest of the two technology development (TD) contract awards for the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

The initial awards had been made on Aug. 18, 2011, when the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich., announced the award of two TD phase GCV IFV contracts to teams led by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, L.P. and General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. The contract announcement went on to acknowledge that three bids had been received in response to the request for proposals.

The overall goal of the GCV IFV program is to develop and produce an affordable and operationally effective Infantry Fighting Vehicle in seven years. The TD phase of the program is a 24-month effort directed at maturing the GCV proposal through the preliminary design review in anticipation of prototype builds during the GCV engineering and manufacturing development phase.

Given the tight timeline, both winning TD teams were already moving out on their TD activities when the GAO protest was filed.

In an initial response to the GAO denial of the protest, service representatives announced, “The Army is pleased with the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) decision allowing us to move forward on the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. We anticipate commencing the technology development phase of the GCV program immediately – the first step toward an affordable and effective Infantry Fighting Vehicle. GCV will provide a full spectrum capable, highly-survivable platform for delivering a nine-soldier infantry squad to a position of decisive advantage on the battlefield in the conduct of combined arms maneuver and wide area security.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...