August 30, 2017 / 4:01 PM / a month ago

Lockheed will not protest U.S. decision on ICBM replacement contract

FILE PHOTO: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., August 2, 2017. U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it would not protest the U.S. Air Force’s decision to eliminate the weapons maker from competition for a contract to replace the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing Co  and Northrop Grumman Corp  separate contracts last week to continue work on the replacement of the Minuteman III.

At the time, a Lockheed representative had said the company was “disappointed” and looked “forward to a debrief about the selection.”

“After receiving a debrief and reviewing information provided, Lockheed Martin has accepted the Air Force’s decision on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program and decided not to protest,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Air Force had asked the defense industry last summer for proposals to replace the aging ICBM system and its nuclear cruise missiles as the military moved ahead with a costly modernization of its aging atomic weapons systems.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington

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