There are two other big defence contracts where BAe is competing with itself using taxpayers funds. One is a new military satellite communications system. The other is a new airborne stand-off radar.
Awkward though the situation is, BAe says that it is not without precedent. Marconi also ended up competing against itself to build the latest Astute class of nuclear-powered submarines after it bought the only rival bidder, VSEL.
BAe says solemnly that where it is bidding against itself, Chinese Walls will be strictly observed. But taxpayers will wonder if they are being shortchanged while BAe's partners have even more grounds for concern.