Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch: Air Force Might Take a Month to Decide on Huey Helicopter Procurement Program

Arnold Bunch
Arnold Bunch

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy to the assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, has said the service branch has not made a decision on whether to award a sole-source contract to replace 25 of its UH-1N Huey helicopters, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

Richard Whittle writes Bunch told members of the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel members that the service branch might take a month to decide on the Huey procurement program.

Bunch’s response comes after Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) made inquiries on the military branch’s plan to skip competition to buy new Hueys and issued a statement on the inclusion of a competitive approach to acquisition in the budget request for fiscal 2017.

“The budget request shows a clear path to finally getting at the requirement with a competition that would pick a winner in 2018 and start delivering the helicopters in 2020,” Sanchez said at the hearing.

Bunch told subcommittee members that the service branch plans to purchase 41 helicopters that could be between $800 million and $900 million in total cost and that there are about five potential contractors that might submit bids for the contract.

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