WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Northrop pushes back after losing downselect for Air Force contract

For over a year, Northrop Grumman has been locked in a $750 million competition with BAE Systems to build an electronic countermeasure system for the Air Force.

But when it reached the critical downselect phase, Northrop lost out to BAE and is now asking the Government Accountability Office to get the Air Force to reconsider their pick.

The contract is known as the AC/MC-130J Radio Frequency Countermeasures contract and the goal is to install new equipment on AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft. The equipment and new systems will improve survivability and the capability to spot, identify and defeat threats during missions, according to solicitation documents.

When BAE and Northrop one the contract in 2015 they began developing separate solutions in what is known as the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase. The EMD would be followed by Production and then Sustainment phases.

But before the EMD phase ended, the Air Force would pick a single contract to move forward with. They then picked BAE.

Some of the requirements include program management, development, software design, controls and human factors engineering. There also a lot of highly technical work such as antenna studies and aircraft interface design.

An attempt to reach Northrop Grumman’s attorney was unsuccessful.

GAO is expected to have its decision by May 4.

Through the first part of the contract Northrop pulled in about $34.7 million in task orders and BAE Systems has done $22.8 million, according to Deltek.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 27, 2017 at 9:37 AM

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