Raytheon's AMDR would replace Lockheed SPY-1D radars on US Navy ships. (Raytheon)
WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin, stung Oct. 10 by a Navy decision to award Raytheon the contract to develop and build a new radar that could be installed on generations of new missile ships, filed a protest Tuesday against the decision.
The move was not unexpected. Lockheed has dominated the Navy’s missile ships since the 1970s, when, in partnership with the sea service, it developed the Aegis combat system and its family of SPY-1 radars. Aegis remains the pre-eminent naval combat system worldwide.
The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) is to be a new sensor to operate with the Aegis system, providing an enhanced ability to track and target ballistic missiles and other targets, and to be scaled up or down to fit a variety of ship designs.
Raytheon has fought several major competitions to break Lockheed’s dominance, but the Navy’s choice of the electronics giant to build the AMDR shocked both Lockheed and Northrop Grumman, the two competitors for the award.
“After careful consideration, Lockheed Martin has protested the Navy’s award of the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) contract,” Keith Little, a spokesman for Lockheed’s Mission Systems and Training business, said on Tuesday.
“We submitted a technically compliant solution at a very affordable price,” Little added. “We do not believe the merits of our offering were properly considered during the evaluation process.”
The Navy briefed Lockheed officials Oct. 17 on the AMDR decision, Little said. The company had until Tuesday to file a protest.
With the protest now filed, the Navy is expected to issue a stop-work order to Raytheon to await the conclusions of the Government Accountability Office. The GAO is required to render a decision within 100 days of the protest, making a decision likely in late January.