US Navy reexamines electronic jamming contract following BAE protest

Washington DC
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The US Navy is reevaluating proposals to develop the next generation jammer (NGJ) after a formal protest over the contract award to Raytheon was upheld.

A decision released on 18 December by the US Government Accountability Office found the US Navy used improper procedures while selecting Raytheon, upholding a protest filed by BAE Systems.

“In accordance with GAO’s recommendation, the Navy is taking corrective action by reevaluating proposals and performing and documenting a new cost/technical tradeoff analysis,” the Navy tells Flightglobal in a statement.

“As a result of implementation of corrective action, we are operating in a competitive source selection environment,” the service adds.

The Navy awarded the contract to Raytheon in July to develop mid-band frequency jamming capabilities for the NGJ — the system intended to replace the current ALQ-99 jamming system.

ALQ-99 is designed to jam radar and communications and is carried in pods on the Navy’s Boeing AE-18G Growler and Northrop Grumman EA-6B aircraft.

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EA-18G Growler

BAE, which also submitted a bid, protested Raytheon’s award, saying the Navy did not adequately evaluate technical risk, did not sufficiently document its analysis and made errors in its analysis of bidders’ relevant experience.

The GAO agreed with some of BAE’s allegations.

“We recommend that the Navy document a reevaluation of the proposals,” writes the agency in its report, dated 13 November. “If the Raytheon proposal is not found to represent the best value to the government in accordance with the [request for proposal’s] evaluation factors, the agency should terminate the award to Raytheon and award a new contract.”

Raytheon and BAE were among four firms awarded “technology maturation” contracts in July 2010 during the first phase of the project.

But only Raytheon received a contract for the second technology development phase.