WASHINGTON — Boeing Network and Space Systems will not protest the U.S. Air Force’s recent award to Raytheon of a lucrative military satellite terminal contract that was once held by Boeing.

The Air Force on June 2 awarded Raytheon a $298 million contract modification on the Family of Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals program, which will enable the U.S. president to communicate with national command authorities during a nuclear war. The airborne and ground-based terminals are designed to operate with the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation of highly secure, jam-proof strategic and tactical communications satellites.

Boeing Network and Space Systems of Arlington, Virginia, and McKinney, Texas-based Raytheon Network Centric Systems had been developing competing FAB-T systems since 2012. Boeing was the original prime contractor on the program, but the company’s struggles with the technology led the Air Force to enlist Raytheon as a competing vendor. 

 “Following the FAB-T production debrief from the Air Force, Boeing has decided not to protest the award decision,” Richard Esposito, a Boeing spokesman, said in a June 17 email. “We will continue to deliver reliable, low-risk communications solutions to our customers today, while anticipating their requirements for tomorrow.”

While some industry watchers had expected a protest, William LaPlante, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, said June 13 that the chances for success in any protest can appear inflated. From a pool of 113,000 competitions in 2013, only two protests of the Air Force’s contractor selection were sustained, he said.

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Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...