Same Old, Same Old
After stumbling across this announcement, “Navy orders Raytheon to stop work on next-gen radar“, I just had to laugh. It’s the same old, same old “iterative” process:
- The Department of Defense issues a request for proposals.
- The usual suspects (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, etc) submit bids.
- A winner is selected – Yay!
- The sore loser(s) protest the decision.
- By law, the decision must be revisited and re-evaluated.
- The decision is either upheld, or a new winner is selected.
- If a new winner is selected, the previous winner protests.
I’ve worked in the aerospace and defense industry for 30+ years and I’ve seen this dysfunctional, time and money wasting, game play over and over like clockwork. Tick tock, tick tock.
Sometimes the bid-win-protest cycle goes on for years and it takes longer for the hundreds of bureaucrats, lobbyists, committees, and politicians to resolve the dilemma than for the eventual winner to actually build the system. In addition, after all the political shenanigans have played out and the ultimate winner starts the ball rolling, the contract is sometimes cancelled in midstream after millions of dollars and engineering hours have been spent.
Despite repeated calls for procurement/acquisition process reform, the system is so big and there are so many intertwined players that any substantive change is virtually impossible. But hey, it’s taxpayer money. No problemo.
The System Always Fights Back – John Gall