Pressure is Mounting

Air Force officials do not want to delay the program to replace the current fleet of HH-60 combat search and rescue helicopters, but some lawmakers do not agree with the service plan to “narrowly” interpret the Government Accountability Office protest decision. A fuller account of that decision (see above) indicates that USAF failed to “account for the reduced maintenance” presented by either the Lockheed Martin or Sikorsky CSAR-X contenders, which are newer designs than the Boeing entrant. However, the crux of the GAO decision is that USAF failed to “reasonably advise” the contractors that it intended to use “normalized” data, which was “based on the current helicopter” to derive operating and support costs rather than the actual data and technical maintenance characteristics it had requested for each aircraft.