The Air Force recently released its sources sought synopsis/capability request for information (CRFI) for the HH-60 Recapitalization Program (HH-60 Recap).

Responses are due Sept. 19 for the HH-60 Recap program that is designed to replace the current Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with a new aircraft that would perform Personnel Recovery operations.

This CRFI, issued Aug. 9 on is “to obtain market insight into potential solutions and sources capable of meeting the requirements” of the approved HH-60 Recap Capability Development Document.

This is the latest iteration of the helicopter effort initially called the CSAR-X fleet replacement program that was canceled in 2009 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Boeing [BA] is offering of a rescue variant of the CH-47 Chinook that was initially awarded the CSAR-X contract in 2006, but the Government Accountability Office faulted Air Force evaluation methods that led to a revamping of the program.

The Air Force is only interested in a full aircraft system solution, and would replace an estimated 112 HH-60G Pave Hawk aircraft, the CRFI said.

The air service anticipates the recap aircraft will be an existing production helicopter with modifications using existing mature technology with only limited integration of existing subsystems as required.

The Air Force anticipates multiple simultaneous tactical communication links and robust net ready solutions including multiple situational awareness/tactical data links.

Most of the major defense companies have expressed interest in the program over the past few years, offering information on various existing helicopters for the program. Those firms include Boeing, Lockheed Martin [LMT], European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., Sikorsky [UTX], Bell Helicopter [TXT], and Finmeccanica‘s AgustaWestland.

A contract award is currently anticipated in Fiscal Year 2013.

The Air Force requires an initial operating capability (IOC) of eight aircraft with training systems and support in place in FY 2018 or sooner with a minimum risk schedule, the CRFI said.

Interested companies must request a copy of the System Requirement Document by Aug. 16. If someone has more than one potential solution, separate responses are needed.

The CFRI is to update responses to the March 2010 and October 2010 Personnel Recovery Recapitalization Program to reengage industry and provide updated information.

Responses will help the Air Force plan and consider the schedule, cost and technical risk associated with the program, as well as to refine the acquisition plan.