GAO recommends new bids on $15 billion helicopter contract

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is urging the Air Force to seek new bids for a new $15 billion combat search-and-rescue helicopter after the service awarded the contract to Boeing last year.

The other two competitors for the award, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., filed a protest with the GAO in 2006. Boeing won with an offering of the Army’s workhorse, the Chinook helicopter.

In a summary of its decision, the GAO stated that the Air Force did not evaluate lifecycle costs of the helicopter fleet during the initial competition last year and recommended that the service amend its request for bids. 

The Air Force should also hold new talks with the contractors and then request new bids for the program, known as CSAR-X, according to the GAO.