Northrop Grumman filed an official protest with the Government Accountability Office on Tuesday over the Air Force’s award of its next generation Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar system earlier this month, halting any work on the project by winning contractor Raytheon. Northrop Grumman wants to review the guidelines for the initial $19.5 million development contract. The Air Force plans to buy 30 of the ground-based radar systems to replace the legacy AN/TPS-75 radars currently in operation, and more are anticipated in sales to US allies and partiers. Raytheon spokesman Mike Doble told Air Force Magazine the company believes the Air Force ran “a very tough, but very fair, competition.” He said Raytheon remains confident in its bid and is “eager to move forward and deliver this much needed 3DELRR capability to the US and its friends and allies.” The company will work with the Air Force to mitigate any delays in the contract once it is resolved, added Doble. The initial three radars are slated to reach initial operational capability by 2020.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.