Raytheon Wins Deal for Next-Generation U.S. Air Force Radar

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Raytheon Co (RTN) beat out Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp for a contract to build a next-generation long-range radar system for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Defense Department said Monday.

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The decision marks the next phase of a program that began in 2009 when the Air Force funded work on full-scale prototypes by all three companies.

The initial $19.5 million contract, which runs through Oct. 31, 2018, will cover Raytheon's continued work on the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELLR) program, and construction of three initial systems. The total contract is valued at $72 million, and includes procurement of an additional three radar systems.

Over time, the Air Force is expected to order 30 more radar systems, and industry executives also see potential opportunities for selling the system to U.S. allies.

Lockheed said it was disappointed by the news, but declined to comment on whether it would protest the decision with the congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO).

"We believe we presented a competitive and affordable solution, and will await the Air Force's debrief to learn why we were not selected," said spokesman Keith Little.

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No immediate comment was available from Raytheon or Northrop.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)