The Air Force has released the request for proposals (RFP) for its new ground-based radar system and industry is beginning to consider re-competing for the program.
Inside Defense first reported earlier this year that the service was canceling its planned contract for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) with Raytheon [RTN] due to numerous technical and supplier issues that caused schedule delays.
The service released a new RFP March 2 for the so-called “SpeedDealer” program, with responses due April 1. It intends to award up to three prototype Other Transaction Agreements of up to $500,000 for the companies to demonstrate their solutions, which could then lead to a follow-on production agreement for up to 35 systems.
Raytheon originally won a potential $71.8 million Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract for 3DELRR in October 2014, after which competitors Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman [NOC] filed protests with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Air Force announced it would re-evaluate the competition but ultimately awarded Raytheon a $52.7 million EMD contract in 2017. The 3DELRR would replace the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 airborne target detection radars, built by Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman has announced its intent to compete for the new contract.
“Northrop Grumman looks forward to demonstrating its mature, in-production, operational expeditionary long-range radar solution for the U.S. Air Force and will respond to the service’s Request For Proposals,” the company said in a Thursday email.
It has not yet revealed which radar it will submit for consideration, but a potential option would be the Gallium Nitride-based (GaN) AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) system in development for the Marine Corps. Northrop Grumman received a $958 million contract last June for Lot 6 Full Rate Production for the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mission radar, which included 30 units. The Marine Corps also added two more G/ATOR systems to its Lot 2 contract in February (Defense Daily, Feb. 5).
Lockheed Martin has yet to reveal their decision. The company “is producing and developing new sensor technologies that support the evolving needs of the U.S. Air Force. We are currently evaluating the SpeedDealer acquisition and our path forward,” a spokesperson said in a Thursday email to Defense Daily.
Raytheon declined to provide a comment.