4/22/2008 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force officials today released Amendment 6 to Request for Proposals for the Combat Search and Rescue helicopter.
New information and schedules in vendors' January 7, 2008 Amendment 5 proposals will require more time for review and extend the contract award process, making Amendment 6 necessary.
Amendment 5 to the RFP was released to offerors on November 15, 2007 to meet requirements of a Government Accountability Office decision on a protest filed by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin. Both Amendments allowed offerors to update both cost and non-cost data in their proposals.
Amendment 6 extends the planned contract award date and updates development timelines, schedules and realign funding. The exact award date has not been established. The Air Force will take as much time as necessary to evaluate the proposals to provide the best value for the taxpayer and the warfighter.
This amendment also incorporates the latest changes to specialty metals legislation, adjusts the award fee plan to increase the objective measurable criteria in accordance with the latest OSD guidance, and shifts the date for the Initial Operational Capability. Despite the shift, the Air Force's sense of urgency in delivering this capability to the warfighter remains the same.
The Air Force's performance-based requirements have not changed, and the Air Force will continue to provide open and direct evaluation feedback to the offerors. The Air Force is committed to a fair and transparent process to select a new CSAR helicopter.
The goal of the Air Force remains constant -- to buy 141 CSAR-X aircraft to replace the current fleet of 101 aging and performance-limited HH-60Gs. CSAR-X remains the Air Force's number two acquisition priority. Every US servicemember knows that if their aircraft is downed or he or she is isolated on the battlefield, they can rely on Air Force Combat Search and Rescue. Purchasing the entire complement of programmed CSAR-X aircraft will relieve the high-tempo operational strain placed on the current inventory of aging helicopters.