AF releases draft amendment for new helicopter proposals

WASHINGTON -- Air Force officials here announced May 14 the release of a draft amendment to the combat search and rescue replacement vehicle request for proposal.

"We're releasing this draft RFP amendment to foster open communications with our partners in industry, the Department of Defense and Congress as we respond to the recommendations made by the (Government Accountability Office)," said Sue C. Payton, the Air Force Service Acquisition executive.

Following discussions and meetings with the offerors, the Air Force expects to release the actual RFP amendment in early June and receive additional proposal information from the original combat search and rescue replacement vehicle, called CSAR-X, offerors later this summer.

The amended RFP will clarify the Air Force's evaluation of operations and support costs and will also provide the original offerors an opportunity to quantify and substantiate potential manpower efficiencies based on the reliability and maintainability characteristics of their proposed aircraft. Air Force subject matter experts from many career fields will then evaluate the offerors' proposed efficiencies. Air Force officials will then conduct a best-value assessment in accordance with the instructions outlined in the amended RFP.

The revised best-value assessment will integrate the new operations and support information with the results of the evaluation done previously included in all other areas where the GAO found no problems. The best value source selection decision and subsequent contract award is projected for fall 2007.

CSAR-X will replace the aging fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters.

"HH-60Gs are quickly approaching the end of their service life and it's critical we move ahead with the Air Force's #2 acquisition priority," Ms. Payton said.

CSAR-X will be used across the spectrum of military operations including the rescue of downed aircrew members and other isolated people in combat environments, emergency evacuations and humanitarian/disaster relief.