Lockheed Martin Sues The MTA

Everyone remembers the horrific September 11th attacks which forever changed the world. The attacks put a huge spotlight on our nation’s security on many levels. One of the most vital levels was in the form of transportation. With that in mind, it was a given that protecting the MTA’s infrastructure would rank as being of the highest priority.

One of the projects agreed upon was for Lockheed Martin to install $300M worth of digital security cameras. However the project has been delayed for multiple reasons & now Lockheed Martin wants out of the deal. They are now suing the MTA with the hopes of an end result that would break off the deal. William Neuman of the New York Times has more in this report:

In a new sign of trouble in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s effort to install a $300 million network of digital security cameras to protect the transit system, the authority’s contractor has asked a federal judge to let it walk away from the project.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the contractor, Lockheed Martin Transportation Security Solutions, asked a judge to release it from its contract, claiming that the authority had caused numerous delays and failed to give it access to train tunnels to finish the work.

The lawsuit, reported Tuesday in The New York Post, is the latest and most public episode in an ugly spat between the authority and Lockheed over the security camera project, part of a group of projects begun after the Sept. 11 terror attack to protect the authority’s transportation system.

It also raised questions about how much progress has been made to increase the safety of the subway and commuter rail systems more than seven years after the attack.

Above all, the lawsuit said that much work remained to be done to add security features to under-river tunnels used by the subway and the Long Island Rail Road.

“Lockheed has not been able to pass the required software system tests,” the statement said. “We have been working with Lockheed to achieve a minimum level of acceptable functionality, but it has taken longer than expected because of Lockheed’s inability to resolve certain critical system issues, pass the needed tests and progress the work to the point where it can be put into operation.”

Authority officials have said before that the high-tech camera system was not living up to its promise. The cameras are linked to software that was supposed to be able to detect an unattended object, like a backpack or briefcase, left on a station platform, and then alert law enforcement.

But that ability, and others, failed during tests. In fact, according to a report by the state comptroller’s office last November, 400 of 1,400 software elements in the system failed tests conducted last spring.

Click here for the complete report.

Even if you hate the MTA, you have to feel sorry for them after awhile. When it rains, it really does pour for them. Actually you can say it is a outright flood of negativity. However the bigger concern is brought up in William’s report. How much has actually been accomplished in terms of security since 9/11? Also, is it true the MTA led to the delays due to restricting access? My main question is what would be the point of them doing that? I can’t imagine they would want to purposely prolong the work.

I would also love to read up on the alleged high failure rate of one of the key features. Regardless of the situation, failing 400 of 1400 is not good. I would be extremely pissed if I was spending hundreds of millions & achieved such piss poor results. This lawsuit is one I definitely look forward to following up on in the future.

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[…] the end of April, I blogged about Lockheed Martin suing the MTA over the agency’s alleged interference in following through on a $300M contract to install a […]

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