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Posted: 2/27/2007 1:20:31 PM EDT
GAO overturns HH-47 selection by Air Force

By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 27, 2007 9:48:32 EST
The Air Force’s selection of the Boeing HH-47 helicopter as its next combat search and rescue helicopter was overturned by the Government Accountability Office on Monday.

The GAO sustained the protests by Sikorsky Aircraft Company and Lockheed Martin on the basis that the Air Force’s actual evaluation of the aircraft’s long-term service costs was inconsistent with the required approach presented in the solicitation provided to the firms.

Sikorsky has pushed its S-92 helicopter while Lockheed offered the US101.

The contract with Boeing to build about 141 helicopters was worth $15 billion.

The federal watchdog agency recommended that the Air Force amend the request it made to aircraft builders to reflect its intent with respect to the evaluation aircraft’s long-term maintenance and other service life costs, reopen discussions with the contractors and then request revised proposals.

As of early Monday afternoon, the Air Force hadn’t issued a statement on what its next step will be.

Boeing is confident the HH-47 will win a second round, if that is what Air Force decides to do, according to a company representative.

“We still believe the HH-47 is the most capable platform for the CSAR mission and provides the best value to the Air Force in meeting this critical requirement,” said Boeing spokesman Joseph LaMarca.

A spokesman for Lockheed, Greg Caires, said his company was pleased with the GAO’s decision.

“We are confident that, when fairly evaluated on its demonstrated capabilities, the US101 helicopter will be selected as the best choice and best value to satisfy the Air Force’s CSAR-X requirement,” Caires said.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:26:46 PM EDT

Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:28:15 PM EDT
US101 aka the Augusta Westland Merlin pushes all the right buttons including power folding rotors…

Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:30:25 PM EDT

Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:32:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
US101 aka the Augusta Westland Merlin pushes all the right buttons including power folding rotors…


Since the US already flies CH/MH-47's, one might wonder if there will be way fewer teething, logistics, and maint issues, as well as already having worked out pilot training etc.
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