The Air Force has taken in stride the new protests over its combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program. Lockheed Martin filed a protest June 8 and Sikorsky filed one June 18, but both companies also filed their new submissions for the revised CSAR-X request for proposals on time to meet the June 19 deadline. USAF provided a 13-page response to contractor questions during the second round, rebuffing all criticism. In Washington, the Air Force’s military deputy for acquisition, Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman said in a statement: “Protests are part of the acquisition process. … The Air Force feels we have correctly adjusted the RFP to satisfy [Government Accountability Office] guidance and concerns.” The service has asked the GAO to use its “express option and expedited procedures to resolve this protest,” stated Hoffman.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.