Friday, November 6, 2015

Boeing Bombs Bomber Bid and Protests

However, after all is said and done Boeing claims, Northrop did not take into consideration a spiraling cost quotient when accepting Northrop's bid. It, Boeing, did and lost the bid. The double team adds Lockheed against the DOD Acquisition Department and Northrop.

The comment coming from experts has already entered the fray with the same early conclusion agreeing with Winging It, DoD Acquisition had already closed any troubling loopholes within the bid process. Hence, the Northrop proposal was a solid bid meeting all contingency foreseen as part of the bid requirements. I would be surprised if Boeing-Lockheed have the case strength  needed for a vigorous pursuit, as Boeing once had in its tanker protest. The Long Range Bomber (LRB) proposal has a greater nebulous element within the bid, and it would be difficult to prove any definitive considerations for spiraling costs. The Long Range Bomber is not from a commercial frame, but is from a military frame and is a concept consideration favoring Northrup, which has demonstrated a similar frame in operation, and Boeing has not had one in operation at this time.

The Boeing argument is more theoretical than conceptual. Northrop's complaint could be valid, in addition that it will cost the company and the government millions defending the process. Boeing must have highlighted the costs structure in its bid making. It should use the same arguments for its costs validations and should be included within its protests submission (remains to be argued). If Boeing, didn't cover its argument within the bid process, then they are now stuck with a bid loss. The capability argument against Northrop by Boeing, is an opinion and a theoretical risk the Government is willing to take, judging from past Northrop bomber deliveries.  

The Boeing claim would be that acquisition people ignored the Boeing proposal in part from its other real information included, and accepted Northrup's proposal and less development capability without regard to real world costs. The LRB project cost spiral was erroneously omitted when deciding over the Boeing bid having a greater technology capability, becomes Boeing's primary argument. 

All of this now becomes a consideration of the legal process; taking into account Boeing's claims and Northrop's realities presented within the Acquisition's LRB bid constructs. The technical bid aspect may belong to Northrop and the practical aspect may belong to Boeing. The court will not certainly cut the baby in half to decide the issue. Boeing gambled and lost on the bid process.