Translate

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lockheed Martin Admits it didn't enter CC-130J for FWSAR

Four days ago David Pugliese published an article in The Ottawa Citizen that said Lockheed Martin didn't bid on the RCAF's FWSAR program; despite having indicated in June 2015 that it would. 

Today, Pugliese's Defence Watch published the following article about Lockheed admitting it did not bid. 

Lockheed Martin has decided to reverse its questionable public relations strategy and finally confirm what was reported last week – that it did not submit a bid for the Canadian government’s fixed wing search and rescue (FWSAR) program.

Defence Watch, as well as Skies magazine, published the news last week that Lockheed Martin didn’t submit a bid.

But at the time Lockheed Martin was still sticking to its media line: “Out of respect for the procurement process, Lockheed Martin does not comment on competitive tenders that are underway.”

As noted earlier, this statement, which LM had been repeating for months, is laughable. Companies love to talk about their products to the news media and LM’s competitors have been holding press conferences and briefings on their FWSAR submissions.

In fact, for the last couple of years, Lockheed Martin officials had been highlighting how great their C-130J would be for the FWSAR program.

All that changed and the “out of respect for the procurement process” media line materialized when Lockheed’s proposal ran into trouble.

So with the bids in, and news reports from Defence Watch and Skies magazine that Lockheed Martin was a no-show for FWSAR (and queries also coming in from the U.S. media), the firm has decided to change its message.

“Lockheed Martin participated in the FWSAR procurement process as a potential bidder,” the company noted in a new statement Monday to Defence Watch. “After following an extensive and thorough analysis of the RFP’s requirements, we decided to not submit a formal response to Canada’s FWSAR RFP. We remain fully committed to supporting the RCAF and its CC-130J fleet as it continues to perform the tactical transport role in Canada for decades to come.”

Lockheed Martin, however, has not explained why it didn’t bid. But its competitors have toldDefence Watch the firm decided against bidding because the in-service support costs for the C-130J are extremely high, making a proposal a non-starter.

Embraer, Alenia and Airbus all bid on the $3.1 billion FWSAR program.