Schedule Trumps Capability for CSAR-X:

Ken Krieg, Pentagon acquisition guru, says that when Air Force and Pentagon officials looked at the combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program, “what was clear about CSAR-X was the need to hold schedule” because “the legacy aircraft were aging rapidly.” Krieg called the CSAR-X discussions “one of the more intense early discussions around trade space,” meaning a discussion of trade-offs involving aspects of such things as performance, cost, and schedule. He told reporters in a March 15 press briefing, “What we determined was that schedule is more important than ultimate capability.” Krieg, who would not comment specifically on the GAO protest decision still under review by USAF, did say that placing schedule first had led the Air Force to look for “high technology readiness levels, where your integration risks were less.”