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Senator Reviews USAF Helicopter Award

By James T. McKenna | April 6, 2007

A top member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is scrutinizing the U.S. Air Force’s award of a combat search-and-rescue helicopter contract to Boeing. Sen. John McCain in an April 4 letter asked Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne for documents related to the $10-billion-plus Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR-X) program. The Arizona Republican questioned whether the service’s choice of Boeing’s CH-47F as the basis for its new CSAR helicopter met the requirement for “a medium-lift personnel recovery vehicle.” The Air Force rejected bids of Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter’s US101 variant of the EH101 and Sikorsky Aircraft’s H-92, each of which are smaller aircraft. Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky prevailed in protests of the contract, which the Air Force plans to re-bid. McCain was a key player in scotching an Air Force plan in 2004 to lease 767 tankers from Boeing that led to a former senior Air Force weapons buyer being sent to prison as well as the resignation of the Air Force secretary and his top acquisition official.     For related news

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