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The U.S. Army asked Lockheed Martin to stop work on the $879 million Aerial Common Sensor program contract for a new spy plane after a review found that continuing the current effort would delay the program by two years and lead to additional costs.
In a Sept. 14 statement, the Army’s Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), Fort Monmouth, N.J., said Lockheed had 60 days to resolve problems that company officials found in June.
“Although we're issuing a stop work order, it is important to note that we’re not terminating the contract at this time,” said Edward Bair, the Army’s program executive officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors at CECOM.
The Army’s review found “has determined the weight of the ACS payload and required airframe modifications exceed the structural limits of Lockheed Martin's selected aircraft,” Bair said.
The stop-work order is far less drastic than an outright contract cancellation that many analysts and observers had expected and allows Lockheed Martin more time to convince the Army that it can still salvage the program...