Lockheed Martin Likely to Win FAA Single-Source Contract

The head of acquisition for the Federal Aviation Administration said Lockheed Martin Corp. is the preferred vendor to upgrade the agency's 20 en route air traffic control centers that control high-altitude airline traffic. The planned multiyear contract is worth several hundred million dollars.

Steve Zaidman, the FAA's associate administrator for research and acquisitions, said the agency concluded late in 2000 that it was time to replace the 30-year-old software that has been handling the en route traffic.

Once that decision was made, Zaidman said, the conclusion that Lockheed Martin should conduct the project was seen as the best way to achieve "the least risk [and] most likely success in this program."

While Lockheed Martin appears to hold the high ground on the project -- in part because it already has the contract to maintain the host computers now in place at the en route centers -- Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass., did submit a statement of capabilities to the FAA, so that it could be considered as a possible vendor for the contract.

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