(Adds response from Oshkosh, GAO)
By Susan Heavey and Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday said it was filing a federal complaint over the handling of a nearly $7 billion contract for next-generation Humvees after it lost its bid to rival Oshkosh Corp.
"After careful consideration of all options, Lockheed Martin decided to file a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims concerning our joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) contract award process," the company said in a statement.
The company this week said it was considering all options, including a federal lawsuit, after the Government Accountability Office refused to extend the deadline for ruling on the protest despite the late discovery of a large number of documents that Lockheed said provided fresh grounds for protest.
The GAO cited Lockheed's intention to file a lawsuit when it dismissed the company's protest over the $6.75 billion contract, saying it does not rule on matters that are under litigation.
Ralph White, the GAO's managing associate general counsel, said the agency could have considered a supplemental protest from Lockheed to address additional information about the case, but the company "chose not to file one."
On Thursday, after filing the complaint, Lockheed said it would work "with all parties involved on the next steps."
Oshkosh said it remained confident that the Army conducted a "thorough, methodical procurement including exhaustive testing and evaluation," and that the process had been validated by the GAO review.
"We are confident that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims will expeditiously reach the same conclusion and the award to Oshkosh will be upheld," John Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corp and president of Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement.
"We are hopeful that this latest protest filing will not be permitted to further delay the JLTV program and delivery of these vehicles to provide greater protection for our troops in future missions," he said. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Bill Trott)