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Nick Wakeman

Northrop, Raytheon locked in fight for $920M DHS cyber contract

The competition for a $920 million Homeland Security Department cybersecurity contact continues as Northrop Grumman refuses to back down in its fight for the huge deal.

Raytheon won the DOMino contract to supply development and sustainment support for DHS’ National Cybersecurity Protection System program. Its an effort that stretches across the federal government to protect networks, websites and email addresses from hackers.

Northrop Grumman also competed for the contract and has filed a series of bid protests with the Government Accountability Office, in essence saying it should have been picked over Raytheon.

Northrop’s first protest in October 2015 resulted in DHS pulling the award back from Raytheon as part of a corrective action. But after taking a second look, DHS again awarded the contract to Raytheon.

The contract has a five-year term with another two year option. It will be used by more than 100 federal civilian agencies to protect their networks against advanced cyber threats.

After DHS awarded the contract to Raytheon a second time, Northrop again filed a protest on June 15. On July 6, it filed a supplement to its protest and on July 27 it filed a second supplement. Supplemental filings are generally made after the protester sees the response by the agency. So, these are responses to the agency’s response.

GAO likely will issue a decision around the end of September.

Both Northrop and Raytheon have been building their cybersecurity capabilities over the last decade with various acquisitions and other moves. The primary motivator has been to bolster the command and control and other defense related networks they build and maintain for military customers.

But the civilian need for cybersecurity support also have made that market an attractive and lucrative one.

Cybersecurity also is one of the few markets where traditional government contractors might find success.

After its acquisition of Websense, Raytheon restructured much of its cyber business into a new entity known as Forcepoint to target commercial markets as well as supporting government customers.

I’ve reached out to both companies for comment on the DOMino contract, but both declined to comment.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 29, 2016 at 12:22 PM

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