Lockheed Martin acknowledged Tuesday that it has submitted follow-up questions on the draft amended request for proposals the Air Force issued last week after meeting with Air Force officials May 17. Lockheed spokesman Greg Caires said, “We are now awaiting the release of the final amended RFP and hope that the issues we’re raised will be addressed by that document.” Sikorsky also has concerns with the amended RFP, prompting Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D) to question the Air Force about how it intends to evaluate fuel costs. Another contentious issue reportedly has to do with the change USAF made in the original RFP, requiring “flight-ready” not “mission-ready” status. The later is a more stringent requirement. Original CSAR-X award winner Boeing, according to the Government Accountability Office, barely passed—two minutes under—the flight-ready performance factor. And, there are other lingering questions.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.