Tue, Dec 09, 2008
Hopefully LAST Change To Oft-Delayed Contract Award
Last week, US Air Force officials released Amendment 7 to the
Request for Proposals for the oft-delayed Combat Search and Rescue
helicopter program contract... which may finally be awarded
sometime in 2009, for the second time.
As ANN reported, the USAF awarded the first
CSAR-X contract in November 2006, to Boeing's Chinook-based HH-47.
Competitors Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky promptly filed protests of
that decision, and the contract has been in limbo ever since.
"The amendment contains minor changes that are intended to
further clarify how Air Force officials will make their source
selection decision," the Air Force states. "Beyond the
clarifications, Amendment 7 updates the schedule and funding
profiles to properly align with the new schedule. The contract
award date will be extended to accommodate this amendment, but an
exact date has not been established."
Stating the service "is committed to a fair and transparent
process to select a new CSAR helicopter," the Air Force plans to
buy 141 CSAR-X aircraft to replace the current aging fleet of
HH-60G helicopters. Last month, a Pentagon audit said the USAF
acted appropriately in changing four key bidding requirements in
original CSAR-X bid.
The Air Force is reportedly on track to finally award the $15
billion CSAR-X helicopter contract next year. That decision was
supposed to come sooner... but the Air Force announced a "minor
delay" in October, to insure every "i" is dotted so the decision
isn't protested yet again.
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