Getting Creative

The Air Force is reportedly considering using a Depression-era law to speed the procurement of the replacement helicopters for its Vietnam War-era UH-1 Hueys. The New York Times reports that USAF officials are exploring using the Economy Act of 1932 to acquire up to 93 new-build Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters, worth at least $1 billion, without going through the competitive bid process. The law allows federal agencies to acquire equipment from one another, according to the newspaper. In this case, the Air Force would “buy” the helicopters from the Army, which has an active Black Hawk production line with Sikorsky. The Hueys guard the nation’s ICBM fields. Air Force officials say they have served well, but don’t meet the service’s post-9/11 security needs. The Air Force’s plans have called for having the first unit of Huey replacements available for use in 2015.