Harris, Lockheed on same route

Harris Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have established a strategic alliance to formalize their teamwork in the air traffic management market, according to a recent agreement.

"Future airspace management efficiency and safety improvements require solutions that cross traditional technology stovepipes," said Don Antonucci, president of Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management.

In announcing the agreement Nov. 6 at the Air Traffic Control Association's annual convention, Antonucci said that Harris and Lockheed plan to provide integrated solutions that draw on their varied strengths.

"This alliance combines our expertise in air traffic management with Harris' complementary strengths in communications and weather," he said.

In the process, the companies hope to take a bigger bite out of the $5 billion airspace automation pie.

Both companies snagged sizable jobs from the Federal Aviation Administration this summer.

In July, Harris won the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) contract, potentially worth $3.5 billion over 15 years. FTI will integrate the management of multiple telecom networks, including satellite and phone services, for air traffic operations and administrative systems that are reaching the end of their useful lives.

Lockheed competed for the work, but signed on as a partner after losing to Harris.

The FAA, meanwhile, awarded Lockheed the first phase of the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), following an alternate dispute resolution with Raytheon Co. in June. ERAM, potentially worth $1 billion, will modernize computer hardware and software at the agency's 20 en route centers, which take over once aircraft leave an airport's airspace.

Harris is on Lockheed's team for that project.

Although passenger demand dropped after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, industry insiders maintain that the numbers will bounce back and the FAA is moving ahead with its 10-year modernization effort.

Lockheed is on the Harris-led team competing for the agency's Next Generation Air/Ground program to upgrade communications between pilots and air traffic controllers.

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