Is 'Ford Tough' Tough Enough for DoD Acquisition
January 18, 2012
Ford Motor Company's foray into the defense sector could be good for the Pentagon, but questions remain whether the automotive giant can navigate the complex and oft-frustrating acquisition process, according to a defense analysts.
Ford is vying against defense firms General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to build the next-generation combat truck for the Army and Marine Corps. Ford will be the third commercial-truck maker to throw its hat into the defense industry ring. Navistar and Oshkosh earned their stripes in the defense market by securing deals to build versions of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle. But Ford is the first of the three big U.S. automakers to make the leap into defense. The last major military contract held by Ford was to build the Willys-Overland Model GPW combat vehicle, better known as the Jeep, in World War II.
Ford's decision should be "welcome news" to the services and Pentagon, top defense analyst and AOL Defense contributor Loren Thompson says.