On July 31, the Support Solutions unit of BAE Systems, Inc., scored the latest in a series of wins for major military sustainment contracts that pitted it against a longtime incumbent. In the July award, it wrested a 60-year incumbency away from Northrop Grumman for engineering support and sustainment of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. It previously beat incumbent ATK for the contract to run the Army’s Radford ammunition plant, Sikorsky for the contract to sustain Navy trainers, and Lockheed Martin in a South Korean competition to upgrade the company’s F-16 fighters. One such win would be a breakthrough, but four is a pattern. BAE seems to have figured out a formula for beating incumbents on high-end military sustainment and management work, even when those companies are considered to have unique knowledge about the systems or facilities to be supported. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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