By Ann Roosevelt

Northrop Grumman [NOC] Dec. 3 expressed its continued interest in the potential five- to 10-year, $600 million, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) competitive acquisition for development and sustainment for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system and associated support facilities.

In a statement, John Clay, vice president of Missile Systems for the Aerospace System’s segment, said: “Northrop Grumman is well-suited to support this large-scale, major weapon system. We reaffirm our interest in competing for the single contract as announced recently by MDA.”

Clay said Northrop Grumman would review the draft request for proposals when it is issued early next year.

MDA broadened the initial scope of work with requirements beyond GMD operations and logistics support, and Nov. 25 issued a Draft Statement of Objectives and a changed the request for proposal number.

A draft RFP is slated for release early in the second quarter of fiscal year 2010. An Industry Day is planned for late in the second quarter FY ’10, with the final RFP expected during the third quarter of FY ’10. Proposal evaluation and discussions are expected to take place during the fourth quarter of FY’10, with the contract award expected during the second quarter of FY ’11.

The RFP will be open only to U.S. companies at the prime and subcontract levels. Proposals will be evaluated on past performance, technical, management, and cost/price, the notice on the Nov. 25 FedBizOps site, said. Past performance will be considered a significant evaluation factor in the overall evaluation process.

GMD prime contractor Boeing [BA] said in a Dec. 2 statement, “Our expertise in managing highly complex, integrated and networked systems gives us confidence that we can continue to deliver outstanding system operational availability by providing the lowest risk, highest readiness and most reliable support to this vital system.”

Boeing led GMD since its inception through fielding operational interceptors at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and at Ft. Greely, Alaska.

The company said it remains committed to continuing the development, testing and evolution of GMD, and maintaining and improving its operational capability in the face of new and evolving threats. “We will continue to support the requirements that the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. policymakers determine for missile defense for the homeland,” the company said.

Lockheed Martin [LMT] announced Dec. 1 it was interested in leveraging its capabilities to compete in the MDA acquisition.

“Lockheed Martin welcomes the opportunity to apply our talent and experience to a broader set of requirements for this important missile defense system,” said John Holly, vice president, Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Holly is a retired Army major general.

The scope for the GMD Development and Sustainment Contract acquisition significant requirements beyond GMD operations and logistics support,” which the agency previously had announced as the potential scope.

“Lockheed Martin’s solid mission understanding and domain expertise will assure a seamless transition in supporting and extending the life of this crucial fielded weapon system,” Holly said. “Our credentials include more than 30 years of experience in midcourse missile defense development, production and testing, more than 50 years of experience in strategic weapon system operations and sustainment, and award-winning (performance based logistics) PBL expertise.”

Lou Kratz, vice president of Logistics & Sustainment, Lockheed Martin, said in the statement: “Lockheed Martin is committed to assuring effective mission outcomes through strong partnerships with our government customers. We look forward to the opportunity to combine the best of government and industry, assuring consistent, performance-based outcomes for our war fighters across the GMD life cycle.”

The GMD System and associated facilities are located at Schriever AFB, Colo., Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The contract would principally be located at these facilities as well as at MDA and contractor operated facilities located at Huntsville, Ala.