Competing interests that escalated size and cost have derailed the Aerial Common Sensor aircraft under contract with Lockheed Martin. The Army-led effort got the chop last week. Army and Navy officials envisioned the ACS as a replacement aircraft for the Army’s Guardrail Common Sensor RC-12 and Airborne Reconnaissance RC-7 and the Navy’s EP-3 aircraft. Lockheed initially proposed using the Brazilian Embraer airframe, but it proved too small to handle all the Army-Navy requirements.
The deal would have been worth up to $8 billion for 38 Army aircraft and 19 Navy. According to the Washington Post, a letter from the Army to Congress says the service plans to start over in 2009. At least two news reports say the Pentagon now wants to include any future program in a tri-service review of intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance needs to be completed by August.