Tucked into the Senate Armed Services Committee 2015 defense bill markup that was made public this week was a little item that might not make the folks over at General Dynamics too happy.
Specifically, one line line suggests that the Army should open up the $2.5 billion logistical support contract for GD’s Stryker infantry carrier to full and open competition when the current deal runs out in October 2015.
Back in January 2012, the Army decided that only one source—General Dynamics—was capable of providing this kind of support, and in justifying forgoing a full and open competition, the Army broke up the $5.1 billion, 3-year contract into three pieces: vehicles ($2.0 billion), engineering support ($0.6 billion), and logistical support ($2.5 billion). But that might not be the best solution according to come Senators. The Senate committee wrote:
“The committee understands that the Army currently intends to award another contract for other than full and open competition. Of the three broad categories cited in the Army’s justification document, it appears that logistical support offers the Army an opportunity to compete this contract, especially given the fact that eventually Stryker sustainment is planned to be transitioned to an organic industrial base capability.”
While the committee passed its version of the bill on May 22, there are currently no plans to bring it to the Senate floor for debate, leaving this line hanging out there for GD and other contractors to consider.
The Stryker program has actually been one of the few procurement bright spots for the Army in recent years, and the service is currently laying plans to transform all nine of its Stryker brigades into the better-protected Double V-Hull variant if it can find the money in upcoming budgets, according to long-term budget documents Defense News obtained earlier this year.
The Army already fields two DVH brigades while a third is in the works to be fully equipped by the end of fiscal 2016.