Money for Pave Hawk

Now that consecutive protests forced the Air Force to delay—probably until summer—the final decision on the combat search and rescue replacement helicopter program, the 2008 defense spending bill, which President Bush signed into law last month, took nearly $186 million from the CSAR-X program. Lawmakers gave $99 million of that to support “much-needed modifications” on the 25-year-old HH-60 Pave Hawk fleet, which now has to last “many years longer than planned,” according to the bill’s conference report. Congress expects the Air Force to report on its progress with the Pave Hawks by mid-May and make follow-ups every six months until mods are done.