The Air Force may award a second company a Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar integration contract next month, a spokesman confirmed today.
The contract, if awarded, would include production options, service spokesman Kenneth Waters told Inside Defense in an email today, saying the Air Force will "potentially" select a second contractor in August.
The Air Force in March awarded Lockheed Martin an $8.5 million 3DELRR integration contract, which included options to produce up to 35 radars. At the time, the service left open the possibility it would make a second award to either Northrop Grumman or CEA Technologies, the program's two remaining bidders.
The service said in March the decision on a second contract hinged on whether "an agreement can be reached that's in the best interests of the Air Force."
The three companies all demonstrated production-ready radars last summer during the program's rapid prototyping phase, dubbed "Speed Dealer." The effort followed the service's January 2020 decision to cancel its previous 3DELRR development contract with Raytheon due to "numerous technical and supplier challenges."
The program's current plan is to use Mid-Tier Acquisition authorities to field the first six radars by fiscal year 2024. The Air Force's FY-22 budget request includes $96 million to buy the first three radars.
Lockheed confirmed to Inside Defense in May that it bid its TPY-X radar for the program. Northrop and CEA Technologies have yet to confirm which production-ready systems they proposed for the effort.