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Denied: In what would be soothing words to the ears of Air Force acquisition officials nowadays, the Government Accountability Office on Aug. 8 denied Lockheed Martin’s protest of the Navy’s April $1.16 billion contract award to Northrop Grumman to develop and build the sea service’s broad area maritime surveillance unmanned aircraft system. Accordingly, the Navy announced Aug. 11 that it is resuming execution of the program, which seeks to field by the middle of next decade the first RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle optimized for over-water information-gathering operations. Northrop’s work was put on hold when Lockheed lodged its legal protest. "We are very pleased that the GAO has upheld the Navy's source selection decision,” said Ronald Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and CEO said in a release Aug. 12. The Global Hawk triumphed over the marinized version of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Predator B offered by the Lockheed Martin team.