WASHINGTON — The U.S. Government Accountability Office denied a request April 3 from a team of defense contractors led by Honeywell and PAE to reconsider a protest of a $2 billion contract to support the U.S. Air Force’s two main launch ranges.

In November, the Air Force selected the Raytheon-led Range Generation Next LLC industry team for the Launch and Test Range System Integrated Support Contract, commonly known as LISC. That contract consolidates three contracts currently supporting the Air Force’s launch ranges at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Losing bidder InSpace21, whose members include PAE of Arlington, Virginia, and Honeywell Corp. of Morristown, New Jersey, originally protested the award Nov. 24. The protest was filed by a PAE vice president on InSpace21 letterhead, but Honeywell later said the letter had not been approved by the management of the industry team. The GAO viewed this as an internal dispute and dismissed the protest Dec. 8, ruling the PAE vice president was not an interested party in the case.

InSpace21 then asked the GAO to reconsider its decision not to hear the protest, arguing that the original complaint was valid and that the GAO “intruded” between the two parties. But in an April 3 decision, Susan Poling, the GAO’s general counsel, denied the request, saying InSpace21 had not presented factual or legal evidence the GAO had not previously considered.


Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.