Pentagon Criticized for Armor Contracts

Pentagon Criticized for Armor Contracts

There are 3 comments on the Newsday story from Jul 11, 2007, titled Pentagon Criticized for Armor Contracts. In it, Newsday reports that:

The Defense Department put U.S. troops in Iraq at risk by awarding contracts for badly needed armored vehicles to companies that failed to deliver them on schedule, according to a review by the Pentagon's ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

the truth part 1

Singapore, Singapore

#1 Jul 11, 2007
The Real Story of Production Delays
When the government began purchasing Mine Resistant Vehicle types which later became known as Mine Protected Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, there were limited choices available.
Force Protection, Inc (FPI) had developed the Cougar and Buffalo but had almost no sales and were building them on a one by one basis. Building vehicles on a one by one bases is fine so long as the number of requested vehicles is low.
The military gradually increased the number of vehicles they were purchasing from Force Protection. The first sales of the initial Cougar went to the British. In 2002, the British purchased 8 “Tempest” vehicles from Technical Solutions Group (TSG). TSG was later purchased by the company that became Force Protection and Force Protection’s business became that of making armored vehicles.
In 2004, FPI had only sold a total of 29 vehicles to the military. The military was purchasing very limited number of MRAP type vehicles from FPI and other vendors.
Unlike the Cougar and Buffalo, many of the other vendors vehicles suffered occasional casualties which is why those vehicles gradually became more in demand.
In 2005, FPI delivered 71 vehicles to the military and began to get contracts for larger numbers of vehicles. Therefore, FPI started the process of creating a regular production line for Cougars. During this time period, there were production and parts problems. As FPI grew in size, some of their suppliers were unable to support the production growth in a timely manner or did not prioritize orders for armored glass for these vehicles. Therefore, FPI began the process of getting multiple vendors to provide parts for their vehicles. They also increased the inventory of critical parts.
In early 2006, FPI completed staffing the new production line and by April 2006 they had reached target production of 20 Cougars per month. By mid 2006, FPI seemed to have solved their production and parts issues and were mainly producing ahead of schedule.
Later in 2006, the military announced the MRAP program which initially was going to provide 1200 vehicles and solicited bids for vehicles from multiple vendors. The numbers of vehicles were at this point sufficient to interest industry in developing new vehicles. Prior to the launch of the MRAP program, the military had limited options for purchasing MRAP vehicles due to the low numbers of vehicles that they were purchasing. The only company that had built an entirely new and upgraded MRAP vehicle was FPI.
The size of the MRAP program grew and so did the interest in building MRAP vehicles by other companies.
During the initial phase of MRAP testing, FPI’s Cougar passed testing. Other vendors either delivered vehicles late in testing or like BAE took several iterations of testing, design changes retest and further changes before the vehicle passed.
The inspector general indicates that if the military would have provided the awards for military vehicles to other vendors, that they “might” have produced them. However, until the number of solicited vehicles was increased in 2006, other vendors of vehicles had limited production of MRAP vehicles most of which were much more expensive than a Cougar or Buffalo and less safe. It is not reasonable to believe that they would have invested the money and effort to improve their vehicles or increase production capacity if the military were ordering only 100 vehicles per year.
Force Protection got the orders despite initial start up issues, and intermittent production issues because they had the superior vehicle. The production problems are the result of typical start up issues, not corruption or incompetence.
the truth part 2

Singapore, Singapore

#2 Jul 11, 2007
The Cougar is the least expensive MRAP type vehicle that was available in 2002 to early 2006 and the safest vehicle available during that time frame. For those two reasons alone, the marines should be praised for purchasing those vehicles.
Currently, FPI and the joint venture with General Dynamics as well as their many production agreements with other companies such as Armored Holdings have positioned FPI as the current vendor that has the highest production capacity. If the military were to award too many high volume contracts to other vendors that might not yet proven that they can produce MRAP vehicles in volume and proven that their vehicle will be survivable in combat, then this would be a true tragedy and crime.
the truth part 1

Singapore, Singapore

#3 Jul 11, 2007
The Real Story of Production Delays

When the government began purchasing Mine Resistant Vehicle types which later became known as Mine Protected Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, there were limited choices available.

Force Protection, Inc (FPI) had developed the Cougar and Buffalo but had almost no sales and were building them on a one by one basis. Building vehicles on a one by one bases is fine so long as the number of requested vehicles is low.

The military gradually increased the number of vehicles they were purchasing from Force Protection. The first sales of the initial Cougar went to the British. In 2002, the British purchased 8 “Tempest” vehicles from Technical Solutions Group (TSG). TSG was later purchased by the company that became Force Protection and Force Protection’s business became that of making armored vehicles.

In 2004, FPI had only sold a total of 29 vehicles to the military. The military was purchasing very limited number of MRAP type vehicles from FPI and other vendors.

Unlike the Cougar and Buffalo, many of the other vendors vehicles suffered occasional casualties which is why those vehicles gradually became more in demand.

In 2005, FPI delivered 71 vehicles to the military and began to get contracts for larger numbers of vehicles. Therefore, FPI started the process of creating a regular production line for Cougars. During this time period, there were production and parts problems. As FPI grew in size, some of their suppliers were unable to support the production growth in a timely manner or did not prioritize orders for armored glass for these vehicles. Therefore, FPI began the process of getting multiple vendors to provide parts for their vehicles. They also increased the inventory of critical parts.

In early 2006, FPI completed staffing the new production line and by April 2006 they had reached target production of 20 Cougars per month. By mid 2006, FPI seemed to have solved their production and parts issues and were mainly producing ahead of schedule.
Later in 2006, the military announced the MRAP program which initially was going to provide 1200 vehicles and solicited bids for vehicles from multiple vendors. The numbers of vehicles were at this point sufficient to interest industry in developing new vehicles. Prior to the launch of the MRAP program, the military had limited options for purchasing MRAP vehicles due to the low numbers of vehicles that they were purchasing. The only company that had built an entirely new and upgraded MRAP vehicle was FPI.
The size of the MRAP program grew and so did the interest in building MRAP vehicles by other companies.

During the initial phase of MRAP testing, FPI’s Cougar passed testing. Other vendors either delivered vehicles late in testing or like BAE took several iterations of testing, design changes retest and further changes before the vehicle passed.
The inspector general indicates that if the military would have provided the awards for military vehicles to other vendors, that they “might” have produced them. However, until the number of solicited vehicles was increased in 2006, other vendors of vehicles had limited production of MRAP vehicles most of which were much more expensive than a Cougar or Buffalo and less safe. It is not reasonable to believe that they would have invested the money and effort to improve their vehicles or increase production capacity if the military were ordering only 100 vehicles per year.Force Protection got the orders despite initial start up issues, and intermittent production issues because they had the superior vehicle. The production problems are the result of typical start up issues, not corruption or incompetence.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Armor Holdings Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Safariland Group Names Don Dutton Vice Presiden... (Nov '14) Nov '14 yo mama 1
News Arrested Ponte Vedra arms dealer led several lo... (Feb '10) Feb '10 inoalot 1
News Navistar team makes cut for military vehicle (Oct '08) Oct '08 PAUL SHYKORA Art 1
News Maker of bulletproof vests to pay $30M (Oct '08) Oct '08 mikeemagee 2
News Armor Holdings Shares Rise on Report BAE May Bi... (Jun '07) Jun '07 Ron Grossman 1
News Armor Holdings Agrees to $3.37B Takeover (May '07) May '07 CHESTER 1
News Armor causing military Humvees to roll over (Jun '06) Jun '06 The Cincinnati Guy 6
More from around the web