Raytheon Loses Protest On Aegis Upgrade

Dec 31, 2008
Bettina H. Chavanne chavanne@aviationweek.com

Raytheon's protest of the U.S. Navy's decision to award sole-source contracts to Lockheed Martin for its Aegis modernization program has been denied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Following the Dec. 22 decision by GAO, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is now free to proceed with its plans to procure the ship-based Aegis Combat System Modernization on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers.

On May 16, NAVSEA announced its intent to conduct four sole-source procurements with Lockheed Martin to support the Aegis Modernization efforts. Raytheon contested the decision with GAO on Sept. 23, challenging three of the four contracts. The protest requested the GAO recommend that the Navy conduct a competitive acquisition instead. But GAO denied Raytheon's protest, declaring the Navy's use of sole-source contracts "reasonable."

Meanwhile, a Dec. 22 letter to House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from GAO reported that in fiscal 2008 the agency received 1,563 protests (including 59 cost claims) and 89 requests for reconsideration, for a total of 1,652 cases. GAO closed 1,581 cases and sustained 21 percent of protests filed.

There was not a single instance "in which a federal agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by [GAO] in connection with a bid protest decided the prior fiscal year," GAO said.

Photo: U.S. Defense Dept.

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