USAF Wants New CSAR Birds in Service By 2017 | Defense Tech

USAF Wants New CSAR Birds in Service By 2017 | Defense Tech.

Good luck with that…

The CSAR -X program has been around as long as the KC-X program, and is pretty much the posterchild of what is wrong with US procurement. The Air Force has a pretty good idea of what it wants, and in fact, would settle for “good enough” right now, instead of “perfect 10 years from now” but the incredible complexity of the DoD procurement system, mandated by Congress to ensure the wise expenditure of the taxpayer dollar, has meant that a few billion dollars has already been spent, and yet not one helicopter has been produced.

Then there’s the folly of having the GAO backstop the competition to ensure “fairness.” The losing contractor uses GAO finding to sue the government, causing more costs to the government, delays in programs, and generally bringing things to a screeching halt.

I don’t know a good answer to the problem, but I surely know what we have now doesn’t work.