WASHINGTON — Companies that competed earlier this year for Space Development Agency satellite contracts awarded to L3Harris and SpaceX were asked to resubmit their proposals following several protests of the awards.

Airbus and Raytheon on Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, respectively, filed protests with the Government Accountability Office challenging the Space Development Agency’s Oct. 5 contract awards to L3Harris and SpaceX. To resolve the protests, the Space Development Agency offered to to re-evaluate contractor bids. GAO dismissed both Airbus’ and Raytheon’s protests Nov. 30. 

But Raytheon subsequently filed two additional protests on Nov. 30 and Dec. 17 challenging the agency’s corrective action. Raytheon declined to comment on the nature of the protest. The Dec. 17 protest was dismissed by GAO Dec. 22.

Space Development Agency spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said in a statement Dec. 22 that the agency is “expeditiously implementing its corrective action plan for the Tracking Tranche 0 solicitation.”

On Oct. 5 the Space Development Agency awarded SpaceX a $149 million contract and L3Harris a $193.5 million contract to each build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles. These eight satellites are known as Tracking Layer Tranche 0.

Elzea said the agency provided “evaluation notices to competitors whose proposals are within the competitive range and awaits their responses. SDA is confident that reevaluation will result in a fair outcome for all involved parties.”

L3Harris and SpaceX were told to stop any work on the program. The Space Development Agency set a goal to launch Tranche 0 satellites in late 2022. It’s not clear how long it will take to resolve the protest and whether the schedule can be maintained. Elzea said the agency continues to “make all efforts to keep the Tracking Layer of the national defense space architecture on schedule, considering the rights that vendors have under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.”

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...