Lockheed files protest to keep $700M NORAD contract

Lockheed Martin is in a fight to keep a $700 million Air Force contract it has held since 2009.

The contract is primarily used for sustainment services and products. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were the only two companies to bid on the contract.

Lockheed Martin filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday to hang onto a $700 million contract to support a warning system for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment and Space Support contract, known by the acronym ITW/AA, supports NORAD and is used to identify and assess and air, missile and space threats. The system is based out of the Air Force’s Cheyenne Mountain complex in Colorado.

Lockheed Martin has held the contract since 2009 but lost the recompete to Raytheon. The Defense Department announced the winner on March 30.

According to the GAO docket, a decision on the protest is due July 17.

In a statement provided to Washington Technology, Lockheed Martin said they made the decision to protest the award to Raytheon "after a careful evaluation." The company believes its solution represents the "best value solution for the Air Force. We remain committed to supporting the Air Force and providing them with this vital capability."

The system the contract supports is the one we think of when we think about tracking incoming missiles, but it is also critical for tracking and cataloging objects in space that might be threats, such as satellites with decaying orbits.

The Air Force also is moving toward a new system that will replace ITW/AA, so the prime on this contract will support that transition while it sustains the legacy system.