The way is clear for Boeing [BA] to safely secure three major aircraft development contracts worth billions as its two competitors declined to protest the Air Force’s T-X trainer aircraft award.
Boeing was awarded the advanced pilot trainer contract in late September along with its partner in the competition, Sweden-based Saab. Lockheed Martin [LMT] had teamed up with Korea Aerospace Industries to propose a new variant of the latter’s T-50 jet trainer dubbed the T-50, while Leonardo DRS – the U.S. subsidiary of Italy’s Leonardo aerospace company – offered its T-100 for the program, which could be worth up to $9.2 billion (Defense Daily, Sept. 28).
Both Lockheed Martin and Leonardo issued statements Oct. 11 announcing that they would not pursue a protest. The deadline to issue a protest to the Government Accountability Office passed Wednesday evening.
It’s the second Air Force program awarded to Boeing in the last month that has been cleared without a competitor protest. The company paired up with Leonardo to pitch the winning bid for the Air Force’s UH-1N Huey helicopter replacement program, which was awarded Sept. 24 (Defense Daily).
Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky subsidiary and Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) issued proposals for the $2.9 billion contract, but both companies ultimately declined to protest (Defense Daily, Oct. 9).
In August, Boeing beat out Lockheed Martin and General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc. to secure the Navy’s MQ-25 next-generation unmanned aerial tanker program. No protests have been declared, and the Navy did not respond to a request for comment by Defense Daily’s deadline on Thursday.