- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) - Lockheed Martin Corp. has dropped its legal challenge of a multibillion-dollar military contract awarded to Oshkosh Defense.

The largest American defense contractor sued the military in December, after it lost a bid for a $6.7 billion contract to build nearly 17,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to replace about a third of all Humvees by 2040.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently denied Lockheed Martin’s request for a preliminary injunction that would halt production of the JLTV as the company protested the military’s decision to award the contract to Oshkosh Defense.

“Throughout this protest process, we have remained confident that Oshkosh provided the most capable vehicle and best overall value in the JLTV competition,” parent company Oshkosh Corp. CEO Wilson R. Jones said in a statement. “Because the U.S. Army and Marine Corps’ JLTV testing and evaluation process was extremely thorough, our nation’s soldiers and Marines can rest assured they will be receiving the most advanced light tactical vehicle ever built.”

The military awarded Oshkosh Corp. the contract over Lockheed Martin and AM General LLC in late August.

Oshkosh was forced to stop work after Lockheed protested the contract award with the Government Accountability Office. GAO dismissed Lockheed’s challenge and filed a federal lawsuit.

With the Department of Defense spending shrinking, competition for military contracts has intensified and the number of contract protests filed with the GAO has increased. The contract provides economic stability for the Oshkosh area and the 3,000 Oshkosh Defense employees.

Lockheed had planned to build the plant in the south Arkansas town of Camden. State lawmakers had authorized the issuance of $87 million in bonds in an incentive package had Lockheed won the JLTV contract.

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Information from: WBAY-TV, https://www.wbay.com

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