Protests ground Boeing aircraft recon system

Military agrees to reassess issues contested by losing contractors

Alleged missteps in the selection of Boeing Co. as prime contractor for a new intelligence-gathering aircraft system bound for Afghanistan have relegated the project to a “no-fly zone” until the Army can redress the issues, Aviation Week reported today.

According to the publication, the $323 million Enhanced Medium-Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System stalled when the three losing bidders -- L-3 Communications Inc., Lockheed Martin/Sierra Nevada and Northrop Grumman Corp. -- filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office in December 2010 and the Army promptly ordered a stop-work order, as is customary.

The first new aircraft systems to be installed in Hawker Beechcraft King Air aircraft were due to go into service in the summer of 2012.

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