The US federal claims court rejected Raytheon’s appeal of a May decision to permit the Air Force to reopen review of the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar system contract originally awarded to the company. “Raytheon has not demonstrated either a likelihood of success or a substantial case on the merits of its appeal,” federal judge Margaret Sweeney concluded in a decision, released June 18. Raytheon initially won the 3DELRR contract to provide airborne and missile threat tracking in 2014. After protests by competitors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, the Air Force moved to “correct” its decision based on advice from the Government Accountability Office. The GAO found that the Air Force “erred in its technical evaluation of Raytheon’s proposal and … conducted unequal and misleading discussions regarding the parties’ cost/price proposals,” according to a court summary of the case. Raytheon argued the original award was sound, and that the Air Force’s “corrective action was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable,” based on the GAO’s faulty evaluation. The court decision clears the way for the Air Force to reconsider competing bids.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.