The Air Force says it has not received any “viable offers” in response to a solicitation it issued earlier this year to overhaul the F117 engine, which powers the C-17 Globemaster III, and now has no choice but to cancel the open solicitation, USAF spokesman Ed Gulick said. “The Air Force anticipated significant savings and preferred terms and conditions to be derived from the competition,” wrote Gulick in a statement issued Nov. 19. He added, “As a good steward of taxpayer dollars, the Air Force cannot justify continuing the acquisition and [it] is canceling the existing F117 engine sustainment solicitations.” Gulick said the Air Force will revisit the strategy in an effort “to develop an affordable approach;” however, he did not indicate a timeline for when this new approach may be released. Pratt and Whitney spokesman Matthew Bates told the Daily Report the company remains “committed to the continued cost-effective support of our products in the field, and the mission readiness of our customers.” He added, “For more than 15 years we have successfully met USAF requirements by increasing time on wing for the engines and by reducing life-cycle and operating costs. We will continue to provide dedicated support to the warfighter and maintain our strong partnership with the Air Force for engine overhaul and sustainment.” (See also Ten Million and Still Turning)
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.