Even COTS Programs Can Be Expensive and Late

by: Matthew Potter
February 6, 2009

Category: Business Line, Congress, Contract Awards, Events, Federal Budget Process, Growler, logistics, production program, Services, U.S. Marine Corps | RSS 2.0

The Washington Post writes about the USMC Growler program and the problems it faced. The Growler was supposed to be a light, four wheeled drive vehicle that could fit inside a V-22 Osprey and be moved to support Marines. The Osprey could not carry a HUMVEE or LAV. The system chosen to be built by General Dynamics and Growler was an existing commercial four wheeled drive dune buggy that would cost about $100,000. The V-22 went into operational service last year. The Growler program ended up several years late and costing over $200,000 a unit. After contract award various new requirements and systems were added including an air suspension so that the vehicle could be lowered to fit in the Osprey, as the base vehicle was too tall. The Growler is considered too vulnerable for use in Iraq but may be deployed to Afghanistan. This shows that if you change things after contract award you get more cost and time. DoD has proposed locking requirements at contract award, but that may be hard to implement.

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