“AMPle” Opportunity for Exchange

The Air Force is hosting a two-day conference with industry today and tomorrow at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to discuss the upcoming competitive phase of the C-130 avionics modernization program. According to a Federal Business Opportunities release on Aug. 8, the Air Force plans to discuss with industry the requirements for the C-130 AMP source familiarization phase set forth in a draft solicitation, offering one-on-one sessions with prospective offerors. During the SFP, two competitively selected contractors will each install several AMP kits, which upgrade the cockpits of older model C-130 transports. The SFP is meant to foster competition for the full-rate production and installation portion of the AMP, under which the Air Force currently intends to modernize 222 C-130H2, -H2.5, and -H3 aircraft. Boeing won the AMP outright in 2001, but controversy surrounding the illegal activities of Darleen Druyun, a former senior USAF weapons buyer, caused the service to modify its plans,. While Boeing is developing the AMP kits and will lead the program through low-rate initial production, the remainder will be reopened to competition. John Young, the Pentagon’s acquisition czar, is scheduled to convene a senior level panel in mid October to decide whether to approve the AMP to enter its low-rate production phase. Officials expect to reach a decision on full-rate production and subsequent contract award in January 2012.