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Tue, Dec 09, 2008

USAF Issues Yet Another Amendment To CSAR-X RFP

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.

FMI: www.af.mil

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