Northrop Grumman gets go-ahead for UAS program

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has denied a protest, which allows Northrop Grumman to begin work on a UAS contract awarded in April 2008.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Aug. 12 announced its decision to deny protest of the U.S. Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) source. The decision allows efforts to begin under Northrop Grumman Corp.'s (Los Angeles, Calif.) prime contract. The GAO's ruling underscores that the Navy conducted a fair and open competition to choose a provider for the service's newest UAS for intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract for the BAMS UAS program on April 22. The company's RQ-4N BAMS UAS capability employs a maritime derivative of the combat-proven RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft equipped with several sensors, including a Northrop Grumman 360° Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) active electronically scanned array radar and Raytheon's Multi-Spectral Targeting System, which provides electro-optical and infrared capabilities. The system also includes Navy-unique mission control systems.

"We are very pleased that the GAO has upheld the Navy's source selection decision for the BAMS UAS program," said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and CEO. "This reaffirms that Northrop Grumman's offering was selected as the best-value determination in a fair and open competition. We look forward to getting back to work on this critical program for our Navy customer."