Lockheed Martin begins layoffs at NORAD

NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex

Lockheed Martin began issuing pink slips to 270 workers in Colorado Springs this week in anticipation of losing a key contract at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, according to local reports.

Lockheed Martin's contract with the Air Force under the Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program would end in September unless the Government Accountability Office upholds its protest of a $700 million award to rival Raytheon in March.

The company was awarded the initial ISC2 contract, worth $1.5 billion, in 2000. Reports said GAO is not expected to rule on Lockheed Martin's protest until the end of August.

The notification of pending layoffs is required under a federal worker protection and retraining law. The law requires federal contractors to send out layoff notices 60 days in advance. If Lockheed Martin loses the protest it has filed to GAO, according to reports, some of the 500 to 600 employees Raytheon plans to hire to implement the ISC2 and another recent Air Force contract win could come from Lockheed Martin.

The ISC2 system is used to operate and maintain IT networks underpinning U.S. air and space defenses, along with missile warning systems. Raytheon's five-year contract includes updating sensors and software under the Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment network at NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex outside Colorado Springs.

Other parts of the contract will be carried out at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.; and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

If GAO upholds the contract award, Raytheon's contract would extend through March 2020.

About the Author

George Leopold is a contributing editor for Defense Systems and author of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom."Connect with him on Twitter at @gleopold1.

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