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Rotorcraft Report: USAF Reviewing Latest Revised CSAR-X Bids

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.

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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.

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