Lockheed throws hat in $500 million MC2A contract ring

Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md., unveiled Jan. 14 the team it has put together to pursue a $500 million contract to build the battle management subsystem for the Air Force's Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft program.

Lockheed Martin's "Strike" team will be AlphaTech Inc., Burlington, Mass.; L-3 Communications Corp., New York; Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass.; and Science Applications International Inc., San Diego, said Robert Coutts, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin.

Coutts said he expects to see a preliminary request for proposals in early February, with the contract to be awarded in the summer. The contract will provide the battle management component to the Air Force's Multi-Sensor Command and Control aircraft, a five-year program to develop a next-generation reconnaissance aircraft.

According to the Arlington, Va.-based military research firm GlobalSecurity.Org, it will cost the Air Force $58 billion to develop and build the craft. Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles, has been chosen lead integrator for developing the craft. The winning team on the battle management contract will work with Northrop to incorporate the functions within weapons systems, Coutts said.

Coutts said he expects Northrop Grumman and possibly Boeing Co., Chicago, to form teams to compete for the battle management contract. Neither has disclosed its intention to bid.

On the Strike team, Lockheed Martin will provide the overall systems architecture and integration. AlphaTech will provide radar and sensing technologies. L-3 will provide the communications technologies. Raytheon will focus on integrating the onboard systems. SAIC will develop the simulations essential for testing of the system.

Coutts said the Lockheed Martin Strike team has three advantages: open standards, a common look, and feel and real-time availability of data.

Open standards will allow technological developments to be folded into the work. The common look and feel will assure that warfighters who go from system to system will easily know how to operate a new system. The real-time availability of data is necessary for quick battlefield decisions.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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