On Monday afternoon, the Air Force’s top acquisition official, Sue Payton, released a draft request for proposal amendment for the combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program “to foster open communications with our partners in industry, the Department of Defense, and Congress,” according to a short USAF release. The service plans to hold discussions with the three original offerors—Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Sikorsky—before it issues the actual RFP amendment next month. Later this summer, USAF expects the original offerors to provide “additional proposal information” on operations and support cost estimates. After which, it will conduct a fresh best value assessment and integrate that new assessment with the elements of its original evaluation that passed the scrutiny of the Government Accountability Office.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.