Raytheon, Northrop compete over weather system

Raytheon Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. each won 16-month $4.3 million contracts from the Air Force to provide a new system to streamline weather operations, an Air Force official said today.

The contracts are part of phase one of the Joint Environmental Toolkit program at the Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

The two companies will provide hardware and software for a single, integrated weather system that provides tailored weather products to users.

The system also will connect to command and control systems and implements architecture for the Air Force Weather Weapon System. The new system will replace disparate legacy weather systems and provide the Air Force and Army with weather forecasts, meteorological watches and observation management tools.

The requirements for phase one are the same for each contractor, but their work approaches are different, said the Air Force Electronic Systems Center official, who asked not to be identified. He did not provide further details. The contracts for phase one were awarded in early July.

Phase two will be worth between $70 million and $80 million and will go to one of the two companies. An award is expected in October 2005. The winner will develop, integrate, test, deliver and install additional system increments during that phase. The contract will have a two-year base period with options that are yet to be determined, the program office official said.

Headquartered in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide and had 2003 revenue of $18.1 billion. The company is No. 7 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors. Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman is second on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list. The company employs 120,000 workers and had 2003 revenue of $26.2 billion.

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