The Ministry of Defence’s £1.7bn Bowman digital radio programme appeared to be up for grabs again after its equipment acquisition committee last week said ministers should consider holding a fresh competition for the contract.
The committee is believed to be losing patience with current contractor the Archer consortium which comprises BAE Systems, Racal and ITT of the US. Archer is now eight years late in delivering the system.
BAE Systems, which manages the Archer consortium, said: `We could be put in a competitive situation again.’
The MoD would not confirm an acquisitions committee meeting had taken place and said the Bowman situation had not changed since Archer’s last bid, and since it was decided to invite Canada’s CDC and France’s Thomson-CSF to submit bids for `backstop alternatives’ to Bowman should it fail to deliver the required performance.
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