Raytheon's Archimedes radar is out of the race to win a major contract after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed on 9 January that it rejected company's protest over the Air Force's decision to exclude it from a planned competition.

The decision leaves Northrop Grumman's wide area surveillance radar as the sole sensor option for three different aircraft being proposed by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop to replace the E-8C JSTARS fleet.

During the early stages of the competition, air force officials awarded two contracts worth $60 million and $70 million for Raytheon and Northrop, respectively, to perform radar risk reduction work.

Despite the recent GAO decision, Raytheon is expected to conclude JSTARS risk reduction work by the end of the month, a company spokesman says.

Although the USAF says the source selection process for the JSTARS replacement is ongoing, service officials are also reviewing whether to delay or cacnel the competition.

Earlier this fall, Air Combat Command chief Gen Mike Holmes warned a traditional business jet platform would face challenges in today’s contested airspace. Instead, Holmes questioned if the next JSTARS aircraft should be designed to survive in contested airspace.

Source: FlightGlobal.com