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BAE Systems protests U.S. Navy contract award to Raytheon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's BAE Systems PLC on Thursday filed a formal protest against the U.S. Navy's decision to award a contract for a next-generation electronic jammer to Raytheon Co , a U.S. spokesman for the company said.

BAE spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said BAE decided to lodge a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office because it had "concerns with the Navy's evaluation of our offering." He did not elaborate.

"The solution we put forward would provide the U.S. Navy with an affordable and effective way to significantly enhance current capabilities and protect our aircraft, ships, and armed forces," Roehrkasse said.

Raytheon on July 8 beat out incumbent Northrop Grumman Corp and BAE Systems to win a $279 million deal to develop a new electronic jammer, a deal analysts said could eventually be worth billions of dollars.

Under the 22-month contract, Raytheon is slated to develop the Next Generation Jammer, which will replace the ALQ-99 tactical jamming system used on the EA-18G Growler aircraft built by Boeing Co .

No comment was immediately available from the Navy, which says the new jammer will be critical for future combat missions and should be ready for use by fiscal 2020. The jamming pods will enable U.S. aircraft to render enemy radars useless.

Raytheon, Northrop, BAE and Exelis Inc each had won a 33-month technology contract that identified and matured critical technologies for the new jamming system. Northrop later teamed up with Exelis to submit a joint bid.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Michael Urquhart and Stephen Coates)

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