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$134-Million Contract at Stake : Comarco Pentagon Pact Contested by Rival Firm

Times Staff Writer

A rival bidder of Anaheim-based Comarco Inc. has protested a five-year, $134-million Pentagon contract awarded to Comarco last August for weapons testing and engineering work at the China Lake Naval Weapons Center.

Support Systems Associates of Northport, N.Y., filed its protest in early September with the General Accounting Office. The Navy has delayed work on the new contract pending the results of the government review.

Because of the delay, however, the Navy decided to award Comarco a four-month, $10-million extension on its current five-year contract at China Lake, which was due to expire Oct. 1. Support Systems has also filed a separate protest of the extension.

Comarco said it expects the GAO review to be completed within 90 days.

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Don M. Bailey, a Comarco vice president, said that the New York firm protested the award “on many different” grounds. He declined to be more specific but said that Comarco anticipated that Support Systems would contest the contract.

“There should be no impact on the company as long as the protest is ruled in our favor,” Bailey said. “We are highly confident the protest won’t cost us the contract.”

Comarco officials said GAO statistics indicate that contract protests are successful only 4% of the time.

The China Lake contract has supplied about $30 million in annual revenue for Comarco, or about 35% of the firm’s total yearly sales.

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Comarco has 700 employees who work at the Naval Weapons Center, which develops and tests weapons and aircraft.


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