WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - A federal appeals court has denied a lawsuit by Raytheon Co that sought to halt the U.S. Air Force's reevaluation of bids submitted for a new $1 billion long-range radar by Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Raytheon in May appealed a decision in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that had cleared the way for the review. Raytheon first won the contract in October, but the matter was quickly protested by both losing bidders, prompting the Air Force to take a fresh look at the bids.
In her decision, Judge Margaret Sweeney said the Air Force's decision to reopen the competition was justified since the agency had violated rules on equal communications with bidders about whether they could recover internal research and development spending (IR&D) linked to the bid.
The Air Force initially told bidders such costs were not allowable, but later told Raytheon it could recover certain IR&D costs, which allowed it to lower its pricing. It did not relay that change in approach to Northrop.
"That disparity in information favored Raytheon over Northrop," the decision said.
Raytheon said it was disappointed by the decision, but remained confident in its proposal to develop and build 30 Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) systems to replace the Air Force's current TPS-75 radar, which has been in service since the late 1960s.
The existing system can be torn down and transported via trucks or C-130 transport planes. The next-generation system must be able to perform a similar function.
The Air Force said the court's decision would allow it to "continue source selection and take corrective action."
Justin Oakes, spokesman for Hanscomb Air Force Base in Massachusetts, which is overseeing the process, declined comment on when a new contract award could be announced.
Lockheed said it was pleased with the decision, and stood ready to support the Air Force on the program.
No comment was immediately available from Northrop. "
Thank you to TRUE BIG & Judge Sweeney.
RAYTHEON...MOVE ALONG NOTHING TO SEE HERE...
" Retired general James E. Cartwright resigns from Raytheon board after pleading guilty in leak case Waltham defense contractor Raytheon Co. said Tuesday that retired general James E. Cartwright was resigning from its board after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with a leak of classified information. Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) said in a regulatory filing that Cartwright — a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general — was resigning for "personal reasons." He served on the board since 2012. According to the Washington Post, the leak to two reporters was about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program. Those stories revealed information about the malicious computer software program known as "Stuxnet," aimed at crippling Iran's nuclear capabilities, Reuters reported."
Retired General James E. Cartwright, 67, of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The guilty plea was entered in the District of Columbia.
The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
“General Cartwright violated the trust that was placed in him by willfully providing information that could endanger national security to individuals not authorized to receive it and then lying to the FBI about his actions,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “With this plea, he will be held accountable.”
“People who gain access to classified information after promising not to disclose it must be held accountable when they willfully violate that promise,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. “We conducted a thorough and independent investigation included collecting tens of thousands of documents through subpoenas, search warrants and document requests, and interviewing scores of current and former government employees. The evidence showed that General Cartwright disclosed classified information without authorization to two reporters and lied to federal investigators. As a result, he stands convicted of a federal felony offense and faces a potential prison sentence.”
“Today, General Cartwright admitted to making false statements to the FBI concerning multiple unauthorized disclosures of classified information that he made to reporters,” said Assistant Director in Charge Abbate. “This was a careful, rigorous, and thorough multi-year investigation by special agents who, together with federal prosecutors, conducted numerous interviews, to including Cartwright. The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position, who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators.”
According to his plea agreement, Cartwright is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general who served as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Aug. 31, 2007, to Aug. 3, 2011, and as Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command from 2004 to 2007. During that time, Cartwright held a top secret security clearance with access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI).
Cartwright signed more than 36 non-disclosure agreements related to Department of Defense programs. The forms explain that the recipient is obligated by law and regulation not to disclose classified information without authorization. The forms also contain warnings that any breach of the agreement may violate federal criminal law. In addition, Cartwright received annual training about handling classified information.
On Sept. 1, 2011, Cartwright retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon his retirement, Cartwright maintained his top secret clearance. The clearance enabled him to engage in consulting and private employment, including sitting on a special committee of the board of directors of a defense contractor, which oversaw the company’s classified U.S. government contracts.
At the time of his retirement, Cartwright again signed a “Classified Information Non-Disclosure Agreement,” which included warnings “that unauthorized disclosure…by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation.”
Between January and June 2012, Cartwright disclosed classified information to two reporters without authorization. Some of the information disclosed to the reporters was classified at the top secret level. Each reporter included the classified information in published articles. In addition, the classified information that Cartwright communicated to one reporter was included in a book.
FBI agents interviewed Cartwright on Nov. 2, 2012. During the interview, Cartwright gave false information to the interviewing agents, including falsely stating that he did not provide or confirm classified information to the first reporter and was not the source of any of the quotes and statements in that reporter’s book. In addition, Cartwright falsely stated that he had never discussed a particular country with the second reporter, when in fact, Cartwright had confirmed classified information about that country in an email to the reporter.
Cartwright faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for making false statements to federal investigators. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. The sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon has scheduled sentencing for January 17, 2017.
Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord and U.S. Attorney Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Deborah A. Johnston of the District of Maryland, Trial Attorney Elizabeth Cannon of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and National Security Chief Harvey Eisenberg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who are handling the prosecution. "