Raytheon again protests over ERAM

A billion-dollar air traffic modernization project at the Federal Aviation Administration faces its second protest in two years from Raytheon Co.

Raytheon filed a protest March 29, alleging that competing bidder Lockheed Martin Corp. has an unfair advantage in winning a solicitation issued by FAA, according to FAA spokeswoman Tammy Jones.

The agency last month released a request for screening information for the En Route Automation Modernization project, an initiative to upgrade hardware and software at 20 FAA en route centers.

"We believe the playing field isn't level and that we have a valid, compelling reason for this action," Raytheon spokeswoman Blanche E. Necessary said in a press release. "We believe Raytheon has excellent credentials and available technology for this program."

Necessary declined to comment further on the protest.

The company also filed a protest in February 2001 after FAA conferred a sole-source award, without competition, to Lockheed Martin to upgrade the system.

Raytheon then filed a protest with the FAA Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition, which upheld the protest.

FAA plans to select two vendors to develop a technical architecture for the system.

Jones said FAA will move the project forward after attorneys from the agency, Lockheed and Raytheon meet tomorrow.

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