New ACS acquisition strategy favors Boeing’s position

Heads-up: the Aerial Common Sensor pre-solicitation notice is out (read here).

The US Army has completely changed the acquisition strategy. Instead of a winner-takes-all, two competitive prototypes might battle for the integration contract all the way through low-rate initial production.

I wrote a story in October suggesting this might happen (read here). Boeing was strongly lobbying the army in favor of this change, and Northrop Grumman was strongly opposed. I’m still not sure where the two other likely competitors — Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — stand on the issue.

Lockheed originally won the contract in 2004, but the deal was canceled two years later after it became clear that the sensor package would be too big for the Embraer ERJ-145 jet.

This photo shows the Boeing concept, which is modeled on the Gulfstream G550.



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