CSAR-X info hook


May 4, 2009
This is a topic that I thought would be more prevalently represented. I'm sure other people, hopefully operators, know something. I intend this thread to actually be informationally geared, if it turns out that no one knows anything new or those that do can't post it, then I say by all means lets make it an opinionated discourse!

CSAR-X info according to the internet, interpretted and recorded here:

The contract was originally intended for combat search and rescue.
It was priority #2 according to the AF leadership.
The main competitors were the Boeing HH-47, Lockheed Martin US-101, and Sikorski HH-92.
Boeing won, but there were concerns, lodged by the losing competition, about the aircraft meeting certain varied requirements. (The most interesting, although not the most important, perhaps, of which being it was a heavy lift bird competing for a medium lift contract)
The contract and competition has been a long road to nowhere since:
Defense Secretary Gates cancelled this item.
The current fleet of HH-60s is getting older and noone is promising to replace them.
I think that the Airforce should be procuring both Sikorski and Boeings. There are multiple missions and environments and different assets have different advantages. I agreed with the boons the boeing brings although I think it may not be needed as the only or even primary platform. I picked the Sikorski because I have heard good things about their quality from a flight engineer who was close to my family. I also think that the pararescue is a force multiplier that affirms the 'American Way' of going to war (i.e. with a high commitment to her own troops survivability).
The priority should be the mission, so I have to plead ignorance to the order in which the benefits and detractors should be ranked in comparing these birds. I suppose the best and only to measure those things properly are the operators and pilots.
Again my goal was to see if I could learn something, not to start a debate with my deplorably inexperienced opinions as a spring board. But I give the people what they want when I can.
uh, yea. The CSAR X is dead. no matter what youre reading, im telling you, that project is never seeing the light of day. When we (AF) decide what the hell we are going to do with our aging inventory and no good plan to replace it, its going to be very bad. Well, it's already bad- but sheesh.
why build something new when we can spend twice as much upgrading and "maintaining" the same old broken shit that we've got?

CSAR-X was sold the wrong way to the SecDef...personally, i hate sitting in a short bus and not able to look out the windows at what's coming (53/47) but i love the spacious accommodations of a 60 with an aux tank (sarcastic as fuck right now). Whatever, i'm tired.
SOF grabed CSAR back in the day trying to get ahold of the money that was alocated to the CSAR-X program, unfortunatly for them from what I understand the color of money used for the funding percluded the funds transfer to AFSOC and the rest is history, AFSOC said thanks for playing but you can go back to ACC.

As for the best airframe, that is subject to severe opinion. I have flown on a 47D and have worked on the US101 program and I PERSONALLY perfer the 101, we were flying a lowlevel sortie at 50 ft and 120 kts bouncing around the red desert and it felt as smooth as a cadilac on the highway. One HUGE factor also is the almost non-exhistant brown out, seems as you get closer to the ground you have a nice little ring around the airframe but you can still call an approch without getting pummeld with rocks and sand. I dont even want to get into the rotor downwash differaces between the 47 and 101, I would much rather have my PJ's in the water under a 101 then a 47.

The S-92 doest even make my short list as a CSAR platform do to the small cabin and poor weapons mounting ability.

So I guess we will see if the AF will recap the Pavehawk fleet with some Mike models or just wait it out or maybe a little of both. Also don't forget, CVLSP has not been canxed (yet) so pull out the popcorn and lets see how that plays out.

Marine 1 problems will really make it hard for the 101 to get money from congress.
HH60M's might be the best we get for awhile,
True, Lockheed did go over budget big time but... when your customer keeps coming back to you and requestiong changes that were not part of the original contract, price spirals upwards quickly. In fact late last year the Navy did step up and admit that the increased spending was mostly thier fault for demanding so many changes that were not part of the original contract, this helped clear the air about why the VH-71 program was getting a black eye about costs overruns.