The Navy said on Friday it will hang on to Raytheon [RTN] for the technology development phase of next generation airborne jammer after a successful protest on the original award last year prompted the service to re-evaluate the proposals it received from two other firms.

The Government Accountability Office in November ruled in favor of a BAE Systems protest over the initial $279 million contract award to Raytheon. It’s a contract that could eventually reach into the billions of dollars in value. The GAO concluded the Navy did not adequately review the proposals, but rather than urge the Navy to hold a fresh competition, said the service should re-evaluate the existing submissions.

The Navy plans to deploy the next airborne jammer on E/A-18 Growlers (Foreground). Photo by Boeing.
The Navy plans to deploy the next airborne jammer on E/A-18 Growlers (Foreground). Photo by Boeing.

Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Thurraya Kent said the service completed the review and was sticking with Raytheon.

“The Navy has completed corrective action as recommended by the GAO in the sustained protest filed by BAE on the Next Generation Jammer Technology Development (TD) contract,” she said. “A new cost/technical tradeoff analysis was performed, and each of the original three offerors has been notified of the resulting decision. The award to the Raytheon Company in El Segundo, Calif., has been maintained.”

BAE Systems spokeswoman Kristin Dillon said the company was unhappy with the decision and was reviewing its options.

“As the U.S. Navy has announced, BAE Systems was not awarded the technology development contract for the Next Generation Jammer. Last year, we filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) challenging the original decision on this contract,” she said. “We protested the award based on concerns with the Navy’s evaluation of our offering and our protest was sustained by the GAO. We are disappointed with (Friday’s) decision and are currently considering all of our options.”

BAE has the option of lodging a second protest with the GAO on the Navy latest decision, or could even take the matter to court.

Northrop Grumman [NOC], which had not protested the original award, and partner Exelis [XLS] were also disappointed by the decision, Northrop Grumman spokesman Randy Belote said. “While we are disappointed, we remain committed to continue to provide our warfighters with the lowest risk, most affordable solutions,” he said. He did not say whether the companies were considering a protest.

The Navy plans to install the NGJs on its EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The first installation was scheduled for 2020. The NGJ is to replace the ALQ-99 currently deployed on EA-18Gs and legacy EA-6B Prowlers nearing the end of their service lives.