The Bids are In, Again

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Sikorsky have all turned in their updated CSAR-X bids to the Air Force, meeting the service’s Jan. 20 deadline for this latest round in its combat search and rescue helicopter recapitalization saga, reports Flight. Unless the new Administration changes the CSAR-X program’s course, it now appears that we are looking at an announcement sometime in the spring or summer on the long-delayed source selection. Boeing won the initial contest more than two years ago in November 2006 with its HH-47 design. But two subsequent rounds of successful legal challenges by Lockheed and Sikorsky over how the Air Force conducted its evaluation of the bids, including their respective HH-71 and HH-92 models, caused the Air Force to accept revised bids and redo its evaluation. The winning helicopter will replace the service’s HH-60s, which are elderly and limited in areas like range and cabin space. The Air Force wants to field the first squadron of what will eventually be a fleet of 141 new rescue helicopters no later than the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2014, if not earlier.