New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer has joined other lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York), to ask the Air Force to be more open in its new review of proposals for the combat search and rescue helicopter replacement program. The Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin reports that Schumer believes USAF may yet apply a too narrow view and simply re-award the contract to Boeing. Air Force officials have said they plan to reopen discussions with all three original bidders, including Owego, N.Y.-based Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Sikorsky, and review revised proposals. USAF could take back the award to Boeing made last fall. McCain is questioning the Air Force about perceived changes to warfighter requirements. Clinton and other New York lawmakers wrote to USAF last month urging a full reevaluation of the award.
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.