Not Your Gramps’ Chinook, We Swear: Boeing officials were on hand at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando Thursday to tout their winning submission for the Air Force’s CSAR-X program—the HH-47 tandem-rotor Chinook variant. Rick Lemaster, the HH-47 program director, said the company is riding out the protest process begun soon after the contract was awarded in November 2006. “We think people have issues because of early experiences with Chinooks,” Lemaster said, noting that the HH-47 is a marked improvement on the older CH-46 model that has seen combat duty dating back to the Vietnam War. From multi-mode radar to an integrated Electronic Warfare suite, to a glass cockpit, dual rescue hoists, and an environmentally controlled patient treatment area, Lemaster said the airframe is ideally equipped for the mission and is not a high risk new platform—something Air Force acquisition head Sue Payton noted was key to its selection. Lemaster said that Boeing is expecting the protest process to be wrapped up by the end of the first week of March.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.