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Bloomberg: GAO Issues Declassified Version of Air Force Bomber Contract Award Protest Decision

Air Force B-21The Government Accountability Office has said that Northrop Grumman’s (NYSE: NOC) proposal for the U.S. Air Force’s Long Range Strike Bomber program held “significant structural advantages” over a bid by the team of Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Anthony Capaccio and Julie Johnsson write GAO made the statement in a declassified copy of its February ruling to uphold the service branch’s decision to select Northrop for the LRSB program.

The Boeing-Lockheed team then decided not to pursue their legal challenge of the contract award in federal claims court a week after GAO denied their protest.

The congressional watchdog’s assessment of Boeing’s claims “provides no basis on which to sustain the protest” and that the service branch “conducted a reasonable” cost evaluation, Susan Poling, GAO’s general counsel, said in a redacted form of the 52-page decision.

The Air Force selected Northrop in October 2015 for the potential $80 billion contract to build the new B-21 bomber aircraft that is scheduled for deployment in the mid-2020s, according to the report.

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