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Thursday, March 8, 2007

VH-71 Delays Hurt Lockheed Team in CSAR-X Race

Lockheed Martin's delays in the VH-71 U.S. presidential helicopter program was one reason the U.S. Air Force cited for not picking that company to build its next-generation combat search-and-rescue (CSAR-X) helicopter. That’s according to the U.S. General Accountability Office, which has issued a redacted, public version of its Feb. 26 ruling that the Air Force erred in picking Boeing and its HH-47 version of the Chinook for that contract. Air Force officials reportedly told the GAO they didn’t pick Lockheed Martin because of “unsatisfactory performance under its current contract for the VH-71.” Lockheed Martin and its partners, AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter, bid the same basic aircraft, AgustaWestland’s EH101, for both programs, so its VH-71 performance “was evaluated as highly relevant” to the CSAR-X procurement. The Air Force told the GAO that Lockheed Martin had shown under that contract “that it could not reliably meet important schedule requirements and had difficulty in systems engineering flow-downs to their subcontractors.” Lockheed says the VH-71 is back on track.     For related news
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