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Air Force modifies long-range radar solicitation

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- The Air Force is working diligently to improve battlespace awareness with the next generation of long-range radars and has issued an amendment to a current solicitation.

The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) will be the principal Air Force ground-based sensor for long-range surveillance, detection and tracking of aerial targets in support of theater commanders and will replace the AN/TPS-75.

“The 3DELRR will greatly improve our current capability,” said Col. Michael Harm, the Theater Battle Control Division chief and senior materiel leader. “It will also incorporate an open systems architecture, which will allow for flexibility in future upgrades.”

Components of the new radar will include an antenna array, signal and data processors, rotating assembly, identification friend or foe system and various other subsystems.

Following protests and legal actions, and as part of ongoing evaluation activities -- the details of which are source-selection sensitive -- the Air Force has decided to amend the solicitation to include options for full-rate production (FRP).

“We decided to include these options to leverage the robust, competitive environment and capture competitive pricing for FRP, which was determined to be in the best interest of the government,” Harm said. “We’ll be able to provide the best product to the warfighter, at the best value.”

The contract now comprises the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), low-rate initial production, interim contractor support and full rate production of the 3DELRR system with anticipated award in the second quarter of fiscal year 2017. Full replacement of the AN/TPS-75 radars is set to occur by 2028.

The 3DELRR program has also been identified as a defense exportability features pilot program, which could allow for increased sales and lower production costs.

In October of 2014, the Air Force awarded an engineering and manufacturing development contract to Raytheon, but following protests and a Government Accountability Office outcome prediction, which advises parties of the likely outcome of the protest allowing them to take appropriate action to resolve the protest without a written decision, Raytheon then filed legal action with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which decided in favor of the Air Force continuing corrective action. That action will incorporate this amendment now.

The Air Force intends to award one contract following a limited competition, the modified best value source selection limited to the incumbent prime contractors for the pre-EMD period of the 3DELRR technology development phase: Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and Raytheon Co.

“We are eager to get on contract in order to provide this critical system to the warfighter,” Harm said.

Information about the amendment is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Further details about the ongoing activities are considered source-selection sensitive.

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