WASHINGTON (AP) -- Oshkosh Corp. was the "clear winner" in a multibillion-dollar competition to build new blast resistant, off-road vehicles for ground forces in Afghanistan and any protests of the award likely will be defeated, a top Marine Corps official said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan praised the military panel's rigorous selection process, and said Oshkosh was unanimously picked to build the next generation of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPs.
The Pentagon late Tuesday announced that Oshkosh won the $1.06 billion deal to build 2,244 of the MRAP-All Terrain Vehicles for use by the Army and Marine Corps.
The Oshkosh, Wis.-based company beat out BAE Systems -- the U.S. subsidiary of subsidiary of British defense conglomerate BAE Systems PLC -- as well as Navistar International Corp. and Force Dynamics, a joint venture between Force Protection Inc. and General Dynamics Corp.
Brogan, who manages the MRAP program and heads the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., said while the losing bidders can challenge the award, a protest is unlikely to prevail. "We are confident in the result," he said.
Representatives from BAE, Navistar, Force Protection and General Dynamics did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The military has said it needs a hybrid armored vehicle to provide the same type of protection as the MRAPs have in Iraq. But it must be far more agile, lighter and provide increased maneuverability to handle Afghanistan's rocky terrain.