The Government Accountability Office has set aside protests filed by Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman [NOC] after the Air Force pledged to review its decision to award the contract for its new long-range radar systems to Raytheon [RTN].
Ralph White, who oversees GAO’s office that rules on contract award protests, said the two protests were dismissed because of the Air Force’s intention to “take corrective action and re-evaluate the proposals.” He said the status of the protests would be shortly updated on GAO’s website.
The GAO had until the end of this month to rule on the cases filed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in October, shortly after the Air Force awarded Raytheon an initial $19.5 million contract for the engineering and manufacturing development phase that includes three of the Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radars known as 3DELRR. With additional options the contract could reach a value of $72 million. The total value of the program could eventually exceed $1 billion, some analysts have speculated.
The radar system is designed to detect and track hostile aircraft or missions at long range and is to replace the AN/TPS-75 air defense radar originally supplied by Northrop Grumman.
Reuters, which first reported the story, quoted Air Force spokesman Justin Oakes as saying the service would consult with the contractors after receiving GAO’s feedback. He did not rule out the possibility of a new selection.
“Depending on the responses, the additional discussions may result in a new source selection,” said Oakes in the Reuters story. He did not immediately return a voice message left by Defense Daily.
A second Air Force spokesman declined to comment ahead of a GAO announcement on the cases, which he said was expected “fairly soon.”
The contract includes options for low-rate production of three more systems that could reach initial operational capability around 2020, but it was not clear if the review of the program would change that timeframe. The Air Force wants another 29 3DELRR systems built in full-rate production.