Fri, Oct 26, 2007
Companies Have Less Than A Month To Revise Proposals
It's a CSAR-X start-over. Heeding recommendations from the
Government Accounting Office, the US Air Force announced this week
it requested a new round of bids for a $15 billion contract to
replace 141 combat search-and-rescue helicopters.
The Associated Press reports the Air Force said Wednesday it had
given revised drafts for bids to the three companies competing for
the lucrative contract -- Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, and
As ANN reported, Boeing won
the original competition in November 2006, fielding an SAR variant
of the CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor helicopter. Lockheed and Sikorsky
protested to the GAO almost immediately, claiming the Air Force's
approach to determining the aircraft's long-term service costs was
inconsistent the guidelines originally spelled out in the
The GAO upheld one of those
protests -- saying the USAF was inconsistent in evaluating
operating and maintenance life-cycle costs for the proposals.
Sikorsky is offering a SAR variant of its S-92 helicopter in the
CSAR-X competition; Lockheed fields a version of the AgustaWestland
The Air Force asked for a new round of bids in late May. This
time around, Sikorsky protested...
claiming the revised RFP addressed the GAO's concerns, while
neglecting other areas of protest. Sikorsky and Lockheed had asked
for a reevaulation of claimed performance figures for each
The latest request for bids does not reopen the competition, as
only the three original bidders may submit new proposals; however,
all three have the option to change almost all aspects of their
bids, including pricing and helo specifications.
The USAF, eager to get its new helicopter fleet, is operating on
an accelerated timeframe. Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne told
members of the House Armed Services committee Wednesday the revised
bids are due in mid-November. The service hopes to award a new deal
by mid-February 2008.
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