Crooks and Liars » Report: DoD No Bid Contracts Has “Put Troops At Risk”
The consensus seems to be that the Force Protection builds the best and perhaps only suitable unit for the job - and that they can't build enough of them. While one intended role of the Cheetah would be convoy escort, there simply aren't enough in theater to do the job.
The study, which was requested by Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, found that since 2000 the DoD has awarded “sole-source” contracts valued at $2.2 billion to just two companies, Force Protection, Inc.(FPI) and Armor Holdings, Inc (AHI).
Inspector General auditors found that the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) made these two companies the sole providers of armored vehicles and armor kits for troops, despite knowing that other suppliers may have produced the equipment so desperately needed in Iraq substantially faster. Both manufacturers fell far behind delivery schedules, while AHI also produced inadequate and faulty equipment.
And as soldiers testify, the lack of a suitable convoy escort doesn't mean you get a less capable convoy escort. Bupkis is what you get.
The Red Ball Express didn't get any respect in WWII, either. Logistics just ain't sexy, even though it wins wars.
But the devil is in the details. Is Force Protection the villain, or simply a victim of it's own success?
Others argue the classic "I don't want it perfect, I want it TUESDAY" argument against "toughing out" long production delays to get the best equipment for this war just in time for the next one, pointing out that former SADF vehicles (which the Force Protection vehicles are based on) are availible in large numbers and going for a song.
But, speaking of the "next one," in seeking out a photo for this post, I ran into this bit of hype about one of Force Protections newest vehicles, obviously intended as a competitor to the HumVee.
The Cheetah is Force Protection's newest vehicle series.. It is designed specifically for reconnaisance, forward command and control, and urban operations, and combines state-of-the-art ballistic and blast protection with the mobility of a unique light-armored vehicle. Its speed and road handling make it ideal for homeland security missions.Hm. Expecting many IED attacks in Nebraska? What do you know that I don't?