11/9/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne announced the selection of Boeing Helicopter of Ridley Park, Pa., to provide the new combat search and rescue replacement vehicle, known as CSAR-X.
The Nov. 9 announcement comes at the end of a fair and open competition, and thorough evaluation of multiple proposals allowing the Air Force to fulfill its number two acquisition priority.
"The Air Force is the only service with forces dedicated to the critical mission of combat search and rescue," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. "We take that mission seriously, and this new CSAR platform will greatly benefit all service members who perform vital work deep in hostile, uncertain or enemy territory."
The CSAR-X is a medium-lift helicopter that will replace the Air Force's fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which are quickly approaching their useful service life limit.
The primary mission of the CSAR-X will be to recover downed aircrew members and isolated troops in a combat environment. Rescue forces also may conduct missions such as non-conventional assisted recovery, non-combatant evacuation, civil search and rescue, international aid distribution, emergency medical evacuation, disaster/humanitarian relief, and combat forces insertion/extraction.
"The increased capabilities that CSAR-X will provide our joint force commanders and future civil disaster needs is tremendous," said General Moseley. "From Operations in Iraq, to Afghanistan, to civil support during Hurricane Katrina, Air Force rescue forces do amazing things to ensure that others may live."
The CSAR-X will be designed to deploy quickly and to operate out of austere locations worldwide. Additionally, the combat search and rescue mission requires the helicopter to operate in the day or night during adverse weather conditions and in a variety of spectrums of warfare to include nuclear, biological and chemical environments. On-board defensive capabilities with armor will permit the CSAR-X to operate and survive in a higher threat environment than current systems.
The CSAR-X program office plans to procure 141 of the new helicopters with associated training and logistics support. The Air Force plans to achieve Initial Operational Capability with its first ten new CSAR aircraft by the end of 2012.