The Air Force late today issued yet another amendment to its solicitation for the still-in-limbo Combat Search-and-Rescue Helicopter Replacement Program. It's actually only the seventh amendment, but for people around the program -- and those who write about it -- it feels like the millionth.
The amendment contains “minor changes that are intended to further clarify how the Air Force will make its source selection decision,” the Air Force said in a statement.
Beyond the clarifications, Amendment 7 updates the schedule and funding profiles to properly align with the new schedule. The contract award date will be extended to accommodate this amendment, but an exact date has not been established.
The Air Force is committed to a fair and transparent process to select a new CSAR helicopter. The Air Force plans to buy 141 CSAR-X aircraft to replace the current aging fleet of HH-60G helicopters.
The “minor” 325-page document can be found here.
The Air Force has been trying to award the CSAR-X contract for a number of years. More than two years ago, the service awarded the contract to Boeing and its HH-47. However, the contract was re-opened months later after two successful protests by competitors Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.