Lockheed Martin [LMT], which recently lost a competition to mature designs for the U.S. Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), announced Aug. 30 that it has chosen not to challenge the contracts awarded to two rivals.

The Air Force launches a Minuteman III ICBM in a test. (Air Force photo)

“After receiving a debrief and reviewing information provided, Lockheed Martin has accepted the Air Force’s decision on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program and decided not to protest,” the company said in a statement. “We are proud of our proposal and believe it met all mission requirements.”

The announcement came nine days after the Air Force said it was awarding GBSD technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) contracts to Boeing [BA] and Northrop Grumman [NOC] (Defense Daily, Aug. 21). The three-year contracts are valued at $349.2 and $328.6 million, respectively. Lockheed Martin was the sole losing bidder.

The Air Force plans to award a single engineering and manufacturing development contract in late 2020. GBSD will replace the aging, nuclear-armed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Lockheed Martin held out hope that it could still have a GBSD role someday.

“Lockheed Martin has a long track record of success in engineering, evolving and sustaining ballistic missile systems, and we will be looking for opportunities to support the Air Force and the GBSD program throughout its lifecycle,” the company said.

Meanwhile, Boeing has not yet decided whether to protest the Air Force’s decision to award TMRR contracts to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon [RTN] for the Long Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), a replacement for the aging, nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). The Air Force announced those contract awards Aug. 23 (Defense Daily, Aug. 23).

“We are in the process of reviewing information provided by the customer, and will make a decision on next steps based on that review,” Boeing spokeswoman Didi VanNierop said.