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.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.