Lockheed Martin officials have officially protested award of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft (a variant of the long-range Global Hawk) to Northrop Grumman.
Early Monday morning, Lockheed Martin officials were desperately looking for on-line copies of an Aerospace Daily story from April 24 involving an interview with BAMS program manager, Capt. Robert Dishman in which he described a concept for introduction of sensors into BAMS in three increments.
An expanded version of the story appeared in the April 28 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology, pp. 27-28. Part of the conversation involved the shift of processor, antenna and receiver/exciter technologies from Global Hawk, F-22 and F-35 in Increment 2. A sigint capability is slated for Increment 3 in 2018.
The protest hung fire into the afternoon of the last day to protest as Navy officials tried to convince Lockheed Martin management that there were no valid reasons for the objection. But by 2:30, the protest was official.
“Any competitor will always look for anything that may be evidence of unfairness in the process,” say an aerospace industry official with insight into the BAMS program. “It doesn't surprise me a bit.”