Maybe McCain Is Right:

Republican Sen. John McCain, second-time Presidential candidate and frequent Air Force critic, earlier this year decided to look into USAF’s award of the CSAR-X contract to Boeing, saying that the decision seemed to flout warfighter requirements. A new essay from usually knowledgeable defense analyst Loren Thompson offers fresh support for that view. According to Thompson, the selection of Boeing’s H-47 surprised even Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley. Thompson writes: “Just about every pilot in the Air Force from the Chief of Staff on down thinks their acquisition officials picked the wrong helicopter in the initial selection.” They are not saying that the decision process was flawed by current acquisition practices, because even the Government Accountability Office found only one discrepancy. They are saying that, perhaps in this instance, the current process to identify best value simply hasn’t covered the necessary bases. Thompson says the HH-47 in comparison to the other two helicopters will generate more dust, more heat, more noise, and more downwash; will require more space to land and more time to make ready; and has a problem with poor weather. If that is the case, it seems an unlikely choice as a rescue helicopter.