The US Air Force has issued two key Requests for Proposals right at the end of 2016.
Air Education and Training Command (AETC) announced the issue of its Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) program RFP on December 30. ‘Pilot training gaps widen and continue to do so every year as the service brings on more fifth generation aircraft,’ said AETC commander Lt Gen Darryl Roberson.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James added: ‘This comes after extensive dialogue with industry as part of our Cost Capability Analysis [CCA]. T-X is one of our beta cases for CCA which is one of our many BTCC [breaking the cost curve] initiatives. Our dialogues have clarified RFP requirements and saved tens of millions of dollars in development cost and risk while still ensuring we acquire capability needed to train our next generation of pilots.’
The release of the RFP follows receipt of an Acquisition Decision Memorandum, or ADM, signed by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on December 5, 2016. This proposal solicitation is a full and open competition with an anticipated contract award in calendar year 2017, in support of Initial Operational Capability by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024, or earlier.
The $16.3 billion RFP includes all aspects of the system, including Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP), Full-Rate Production (FRP), and sustainment transition support. The RFP will lay the groundwork for delivery of the first five test aircraft. There are also contract options for LRIP lots #1-2, and FRP of lots #3-11 for a total of 350 aircraft.
In addition, provisions are included for ground support systems, such as training systems, mission planning and processing systems, support equipment and spares.
Meanwhile, on December 28, the USAF issued a development RFP for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS Recapitalization program.
Col Dave Learned, the JSTARS Recap program manager, said: ‘With the release of the RFP, we are keeping the Recap program on track for successful delivery of a critical warfighting capability.’
The RFP includes all aspects of the system, including the airframe, radar, communication systems and battle management command and control suite. The RFP will result in the delivery of three engineering and manufacturing development, or EMD, JSTARS Recap weapon systems for testing. There are also contract options for low-rate initial production for two more weapon systems and full-rate production of lots #1-3 for four additional weapon systems each, for a total of 17 aircraft.
In addition, options are included for ground support systems, such as training systems, mission planning and processing systems, system integration labs, support equipment and spares.
The Recap program recently completed an 11-month pre-EMD effort with Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. According to program officials, these activities helped assess the maturity of subsystem technology, reduced weapon system integration risk and provided information for the RFP.
This proposal solicitation will be a full and open competition with an anticipated contract award in fiscal year 2018, to have assets available for initial operational capability by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024.