Bidder Squabble Could Delay ADS-B Launch
Industry observers expect protests from Lockheed Martin and ITT claiming that Raytheon enjoys an unfair advantage in the FAA’s reported $1.5 billion nationwide ADS-B program, following the agency’s announcement that all three qualified as bidders. Lockheed Martin and ITT have reportedly prepared comprehensive offers for the “performance-based” FAA contract under which the winner would design, build, install, operate and maintain 500 dual-frequency ADS-B ground stations to handle separate GA UAT and airline 1090 ADS-B transmissions, and provide the certified service to the FAA on a fee basis. Raytheon’s proposal calls for eliminating UAT, transitioning GA to 1090 and requiring only single-frequency stations. Unofficial estimates suggest the FAA could save more than $200 million if the agency chooses Raytheon’s plan. Lockheed Martin and ITT at this point can claim that in qualifying Raytheon, the FAA gave tacit approval to a proposal that does not comply with the agency’s original concept, or that the Request for Offers planned for March be delayed by several months so they can prepare competitive bids.