Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said yesterday that the service would be "foolish" not to at least consider buying roughly 90 Uh-60s from the Army to replace its ancient UH-1N Hueys.
"The rationale for it is simply this;" if the service wants to buy an aircraft quickly and can "make the business case for this by procuring an off-the-shelf piece of equipment, I think it would be foolish for us not to consider the benefits of that," said Schwartz.
"The bottom line is, in a cost constrained environment, if there are ways to procure needed capabilities that limit the amount of development required, why would we not at least consider that," added the general.
He went on to say that this is just one procurement option being eyed by the service to replace roughly 90 Hueys it uses to patrol Minuteman III ICBM fields, fly search and rescue missions and ferry VIPs around Washington D.C.
All of this comes weeks after an industry source revealed that at least one company is considering protesting such a move by the Air Force.
The service plans to make a decision on what types of aircraft will replace both its Hueys and overworked HH-60 Pave Hawk Rescue helicopters sometime in the next year, said Schwartz.