It’s By No Means Over:

The Air Force will have to regroup in the matter of securing a replacement combat search rescue helicopter. As we reported last week, the Government Accountability Office has found in favor of recent protests filed by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky that casts new doubt that USAF will sustain award of the CSAR-X contract to Boeing. GAO wants USAF to provide a more complete review of all new data from the three competitors and suggests that the service “should terminate its contract” with Boeing if it appears that operation and support costs now favor another company. The Wall Street Journal reports that Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, the home base for Sikorsky, believes it’s time to “cancel the earlier contract.” Boeing has expressed disappointment in the GAO decision. The Air Force must see that its plans for a speedy acquisition are up in smoke, because Jim Wolf of Reuters news service reports that Sue Payton, Air Force acquisition chief, on Friday said, “I’m here to tell you that there isn’t a winner right now in CSAR-X.” She added, “We are serious about the opinion of the GAO.”