Air Force Opting against Sole-Source Strategy for CVLSP

Despite reports that the Air Force might be close to inking a deal to procure Army Blackhawk helicopters to replace its Vietnam-era UH-1N Hueys that protect the nation’s ICBM fields, senior service leaders told House lawmakers Tuesday “that’s not the correct strategy.” Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, military deputy to USAF’s acquisition executive, told the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel that there are three to four companies capable of providing the type of helicopter under consideration for the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform. “We have a range of options and one extreme is going to a sole-source contract, but that’s not the option we are leaning toward,” Shackelford testified. He added, “We expect that to be a competitive acquisition strategy so we can get the best arrangement we can for the Air Force and the taxpayer.” (See also Acquisition Plan for New Helo Still in the Works and Gunning for the Right Solution from the Daily Report archives)