The US Air Force today selected Raytheon as a sole-source contractor over Lockheed Martin to continue the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) Weapon’s development.
The LRSO weapon is a nuclear capable cruise missile to be fired from an aircraft and is part of the US nuclear triad.
The Air Force previously awarded two contracts for the LRSO Technology Maturation and Risk (TMRR) phase, one to Raytheon and one to Lockheed Martin, in August 2017.
“After an extensive evaluation of contractor programmatic and technical approach during the TMRR’s preliminary design reviews, the Air Force decided to focus on Raytheon’s design,” a USAF release said.
Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center commander and program executive officer for strategic systems said, “this pivot to Raytheon does not represent a lack of effort or commitment on their (Lockheed Martin’s) part,” he added.
“This is not a down-select per se; instead, we are reframing our relationship with Lockheed Martin to focus on specific technology maturation we believe either has future applicability for the final LRSO design or will reduce overall program risk,” said Elizabeth Thorn, AFNWC’s LRSO system program manager.
A Raytheon press release commented:
The U.S. Air Force announced plans to continue with Raytheon Missiles & Defense, on the development of the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) cruise missile.
In 2017, the U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon and Lockheed Martin contracts for the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase of the program. The Raytheon Missiles & Defense LRSO team recently passed its preliminary design review and is on track to complete the TMRR phase of the defense acquisition process by January 2022.
Contract negotiations for the engineering and manufacturing development phase will start in fiscal year 2021. The contract award is anticipated in fiscal year 2022.