Lone Star Future Weapons have lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (the GAO) against the US Army’s selection of SIG Sauer’s Next Generation Squad Weapons submission. On 19 April the US Army announced the selection of SIG’s MCX 6.8 Spear as the XM5 Rifle and the LMG-6.8 belt-fed as the XM250. SIG Sauer’s entries to the program beat out the entry from Lone Star Future Weapons, which submitted the RM277 bullpup rifle.
NGSW Program @ TFB:
- SIG Sauer Wins US Army Next Generation Squad Weapon Contract
- Winchester Awarded NGSW Ammunition Manufacturing Facility Design Contract
- US Army Discusses NGSW
- SIG Sauer Comment on NGSW Win
- Commercially Available! The SIG Sauer NGSW MCX-SPEAR
The Government Accountability Office’s Office of the General Counsel regularly issues legal decisions and opinions “regarding federal bid protests, appropriations law, and other legal matters.” From the limited information publicly available we know that Lone Star Future Weapons, LLC has filed a ‘bid protest’ but the nature of their objection to how the NGSW contract was awarded is unclear.
The GAO defines a bid protest as a “challenge to the terms of a solicitation or the award of a federal contract. GAO adjudicates and decides these challenges.” below are the details laid out in the bid protest docket:
In recent years other major US Army programs have also seen bid protests filed, including the Modular Handgun System (MHS) which saw not one but two protests. First one from FN and a second from Glock which the Government Accountability Office ruled on in June 2017.
According to the GAO, from the filing of a protest, the GAO has 30 days to file their report on the protest against the program contract. The protestor can then file comments on the GAO’s report, hearings can also be held and other methods of dispute resolution. The GAO aims to issue its decision within 100 days of the filing of the protest.
It remains to be seen what the grounds of Lone Star Future Weapons’ protest are. At the time of writing, no comments have been made publicly by any of the parties involved.