It had to happen at some point. A high-profile, big-ticket Army program using an other transaction authority (OTA) agreement has turned into a fiasco.
In December, the Army Contracting Command announced it was canceling and re-soliciting a contract issued in October to manufacture hundreds of robotic mules. This is bad news.
For critics of the Army’s acquisition system, it’s another example of the service’s poor record over the last 20 to 30 years of developing and fielding new weapon systems. While Army leadership say they are going to speed procurement of badly needed technology to take on “great powers” — this is a black mark and will certainly get the attention of Congress.
And the same goes for proponents of other transaction authority agreements — touted as a way to put new technology into the hands of warfighters faster by forgoing the traditional acquisition system.
The program in question is the squad multipurpose equipment transport, or SMET, the Army’s answer to helping dismounted troops lighten their loads. This so-called robotic mule has been on the service’s wish list dating back to the Future Combat Systems program, which was canceled in 2009.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/2/4/a-high-profile-ota-program-goes-off-the-rails