The F-35 program went to Lockheed and Boeing failed to impress its offering, mainly it didn't look like and efficient fighter, it looked nontraditional straight from Seattle's boat races. But it did what the F-35 could do just the same. Brass wanted military sex appeal over underlying performance measures.
Boeing Photo Credit
F-35 Photo credit Lockheed
Northrup Grumman F-5 Last Star Fighter
The Department of Defense must determine if it will carpet bomb a manufacturing arm of its industrial aviation complex. If it awards a proposed LRS-B to Boeing- Lockheed, this may be a death blow in this section of the military competitor realm. This condition must be researched intensively, during the award LRS-B process. How does Government get the best offer while saving strategic production of its four large competing companies. Its another twist to sole sourcing in the procurement processing where a winner may take-it- all, where the loser can no longer compete with future programs from the lack of military orders. However, the losing competition is necessary for the DOD gaining optimal outcomes in the military's bidding process into the future.
Solution Proposal: All competing bid participants have a stake in the award outcome. The winning contractor must allow resources coming from qualifying competitive bidders (ie) such as stealth features, or other technological and proprietary contributions from its competition . The primary awardee must share in the award with a 80%/20% contribution/spit as an example in its development. If the competitor can qualify by showing its technological advances as a sub contractor for the primary awardee. It can share risks, cost and advancement with the primary contractor as a specialist.
The intent is to keep the competition surviving during the process even though an award goes to the primary awardee, while the valuable loser is not lost through attrition within a multi billion dollar contract process. This idea may be rife with weaknesses, but having a sole source availability is dangerous going forward when needing new equipment without having other competitive industrial complex offerings with a bid. Northrup Grumman may be an endangered competitor.