US defence firms fight over pounds 750m MoD order

A WAR OF words has broken out between two giant US defence contractors battling for a pounds 750m airborne radar order over who has better British credentials.

One consortium, led by Lockheed Martin, claims that 2,000 high-technology jobs and Britain's leadership in airborne radar surveillance is at stake, along with pounds 3bn worth of export business if it loses the order.

But the other consortium, led by its US rival Raytheon, claims that its bid will bring just as many, if not more, benefits to Britain and says it has signed up 85 UK companies as industrial partners.

The two consortia, and a third one led by Northrop Grumman, are bidding to meet the Ministry of Defence's requirement for an Airborne Stand Off Radar (Astor).

The radar system will be fitted into high-speed business jets and used to beam surveillance data back to military commanders at ground stations.

The Lockheed consortium, known as TeamAstor, says that it is offering a purpose-designed British radar built by Racal. Other companies involved in the consortium include Logica, Marconi Electronics Systems and Marshall Aerospace.

Keith Robinson, managing director of the Portsmouth-based Lockheed Martin's UK government systems division, said: "TeamAstor is a British team for a British requirement, ensuring the highest gains for Britain economically, technologically and operationally."

He said Britain would gain 2,000 direct high-technology jobs and a further 2,000 from exports and 100 per cent UK industrial participation.

All work on the radar would be carried out in the UK, enabling British radar technology to leapfrog the competition and ensuring the benefits of a pounds 3bn export market flowed directly back to British companies.

But the Raytheon consortium said it would also provide at least 2,000 jobs through its British partners while the aircraft it would fit the radar onto, the Bombardier Global Express, had a higher UK content than the Gulstream 5, which TeamAstor was offering.

A spokeswoman also pointed out that part of the Racal radar was being developed by Raytheon itself. "TeamAstor trying to wrap themselves in the flag is a bit rich," she added.

The rival bids are due to be assessed by the MoD's equipment approvals committee at the end of this month and a decision is expected by March.

The contract has a fixed price but the Raytheon consortium says it is offering a better deal. Raytheon says it will supply five aircraft and 11 ground stations whereas TeamAstor is offering four aircraft and nine base stations.

But TeamAstor says the first two Raytheon systems will be developed in the US, reducing the level of British involvement.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine