The Air Force is temporarily holding off on releasing the draft request for proposal for the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform until the service’s budget picture is clearer for Fiscal 2013 and beyond. The Daily Report confirmed on Wednesday that the draft solicitation is on hold. Contracting officers from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, issued a public notice late last month first announcing the delay. CVLSP is the helicopter envisioned to replace the service’s aging UH-1N Hueys that protect the nation’s ICBM fields, shuttle VIPs, and haul cargo. “The acquisition strategy that was made public several months ago clearly was designed to get some capability by 2015,” said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, Air Staff lead for nuclear matters, last month when discussing CVLSP with reporters. However, he continued, “That program, along with every other program in the nuclear deterrent operations portfolio, is on the table” as a result of the tightening budget. CVLSP “is a matter of priority for [Air Force] Global Strike Command, but it competes as a priority among many other priorities,” he noted. Chambers said it was “too early to know” if CVLSP’s fielding schedule would slip.
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.