On the Government Accountability Office’s recent repudiation of the Air Force’s attempt to revisit the combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program, the GAO did not fault the way the service wanted to evaluate operating and support costs. However, it did fault the service for “unreasonably” limiting responses to its revised request for proposals, according to a summary of its decision. The GAO recommends that USAF “permit offerors to revise both the cost/price and non-cost/price aspects of their proposals.” GAO acknowledges that its recommendation is a “significant change” that “could delay the acquisition,” but it stands by its decision.
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.