So much for Raytheon's (NYSE:RTN) big contract win.
Eleven days ago, the Pentagon gave Raytheon investors a big shot in the arm, announcing it had awarded a $279 million contract to replace Exelis's aging ALQ-99 "tactical jamming" (electronic warfare) equipment aboard EA-18G Growler and EA-6B Prowler aircraft with a new system of Raytheon's devising. But now, the company that Raytheon beat out to win this contract is making waves.
On Thursday, British defense contractor BAE Systems (NASDAQOTH:BAESY) announced that it has filed a protest of the Pentagon's awarding the Next Generation Jammer contract to Raytheon. Says BAE:
The solution we put forward would provide the U.S. Navy with an affordable and effective way to significantly enhance current capabilities and protect our aircraft, ships, and armed forces. We protested the award based on concerns with the Navy's evaluation of our offering.
BAE's protest, filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, has started a clock ticking. GAO now has 30 days to review the company's protest and issue a report on its findings. After that, BAE will have 10 days to comment on the report. After that ... the process gets more complicated. Hearings, additional requests for information, or even an alternative dispute resolution procedure could commence.
Who will ultimately prevail remains uncertain. What is certain is that for now, Exelis's ALQ-99 remains the only Navy jammer in town.
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Raytheon Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.