By Staff Writer | February 1, 2008
MILITARY | SAR
U.S. Air Force officials are reviewing revised bids submitted by Boeing, Sikorsky Aircraft, and a team led by Lockheed Martin to develop and produce its new generation of combat search and rescue helicopters.
The three competitors filed bids by the deadline of Jan. 7.
Twice delayed by successful protests from Sikorsky and the team of Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland, and Bell Helicopter, the Combat Search and Rescue-X competition seeks to acquire 141 helicopters to replace aging, underpowered, and cramped Sikorsky HH-60Gs.
Getting new CSAR helicopters is the Air Force’s No. 2 acquisition, after new aerial refueling tankers. Air Force officials have said U.S. and allied aircrews are at risk every day without new aircraft in service.
The Air Force picked Boeing’s CH-47-based bid in November 2006 for the $10-billion-plus contract. The Lockheed team is offering a version of the AW101 with AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky is offering a variant of the S-92.