The $212 million contract that Colt and FN won for M4A1 Carbines is not going through uncontested. Remington Arms Co. has named the two companies, along with the Federal Government in a sealed lawsuit, reports Guns.com:
Attorneys with Remington filed the complaint in federal claims court on Nov. 24 and requested it and other court documents be sealed throughout the litigation, which the court agreed to.
In the motion to seal the documents, Remington said it wanted to protect proprietary information listed in proposals sent to the U.S. Army’s contracting office.
Although details are sealed, the motion lists a solicitation number to a October 2014 notice by the Army for a contract to produce 292,000 M4 carbines. In September, the Army awarded the contract, valued at $212 million, to both FN and Colt.
The court issued a protective order on Dec. 1 that details rules for the case proceedings and protects competition-sensitive information, to which all parties agreed compliance. Also, the court set deadlines for hearings. Defendants have until Jan. 25 to submit answers to the complaint, and oral arguments are scheduled for Feb. 26.
Fabrique Nationale and Colt Defense, LLC, received a joint firm-fixed-price multi-year contract in late September for M4A1 Carbines, worth $212 million with an estimated completion date of September 24, 2020. Remington Arms, wracked by the failure and subsequent recall of the new model Remington 51 handgun, the Remington 887 recall, the Remington 700 scandal (resulting in the modification of potentially millions of Model 700 rifles, but which Remington insists was not a recall), the Daniel Defense lawsuit, and Remington parent company Cerberus’ attempts to find a buyer for the company, have resulted in the company receiving a downgraded rating from Moody Investor Services. Remington Arms is surely desperate for a contract to boost both its rating and recover from costly scandals and recalls.
Having said that, contesting contract awards via lawsuit is nothing new for Colt Defense, either. In 2012, Remington Arms Co. won a contract for M4 Carbines, which Colt protested, resulting in the 2013 FN M4 Carbine contract. In this case, it may be “turnabout is fair play” for Colt to have their contract contested in court this way.