The Valanx is a prototype light armored vehicle designed by BAE Systems to replace the Humvee as the US military's primary small transport vehicle. At this point only two companies are in the running to become the sole supplier of the military's new transport system (Lockheed Martin is the other candidate). Analysts estimate that the winning contract could be worth $20 billion, and that does not include the potential future contracts with foreign militaries or the possibility of civilian crossover sales.
Now that's all fine and good, just another defense contract competition that may or may not drag on for years like the current Air Force air refueling tanker dispute. (Google it if you want, I don't have a handy link to put in for you.)
The real issue I have is the recent public advertising campaign by BAE Systems for the Valanx. Ad space has been bought inside Metro cars to promote the Valanx. The ads are simple, a three quarters shot of the vehicle with the tag line, "Move Over," at the top.
It was actually my friend Ben, visiting from California who pointed out how strange it was that a defense contractor bidding on an exclusive military contract would choose to spend marketing money on public ads that seemed aimed at Metro riders on a busy commute. I just assumed that BAE Systems wanted this contract so badly that they were willing to gamble on placing the ads in the Metro with the hopes that some Pentagon employs in the aquisitions division will see the posters and be influenced. Stuck on a crowded train in the morning on the way to work, these civil servant accountants will see the aggressive lines of the Valanx and think, "Yeah, MOVE OVER! Let's buy 30,000 of these things."
I suppose stranger things have happened.