The Air Force on Friday afternoon said it would “reopen discussions with offerors and request revised proposals” for the combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program. According to Air Force spokesperson Brig. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the Government Accountability Office has decided to deny additional CSAR-X protest issues presented by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky. Last week, the service asked GAO to clarify the remaining issues, urging the Congressional watchdog agency’s prompt attention. USAF now plans to update its request for proposals to address the operations and support cost issue upheld by GAO in its earlier decision. Each of the three contenders, including the original winner Boeing, will get to submit a new proposal.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.