UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military


HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) - Program

The JROC approved the program CDD in July 2010. A July 2012 JROC Memorandum revalidated the 6 KPPs and clarified 14 of the 27 KSA requirements. The System Specification traces to the CDD and was attached to the RFP. The contractor is developing a design specification traced to the System Specification. The Acquisition Strategy (AS) limits the introduction of new technologies and focuses on the integration of existing systems into a proven air vehicle. The HH-60W requirements are reasonable and stable.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition announced 22 October 2012 the posting of the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) Request for Proposal (RFP) to the Federal Business Opportunities website, signaling the official launch of this high priority Air Force acquisition program. As of March 2012 the final RFP had been expected to be released in early July. The CRH acquisition strategy was refined to include changes that would make the source selection criteria simpler, more understandable, and easier to evaluate. The RFP defines an integrated, capability-based, best-value approach. It also includes specific factors for assessing the capabilities and risks inherent in each offer and identifies four goal requirements: hover performance, combat radius, payload and cabin space.

Prior to this announcement, officials from Air Combat Command, Department of the Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense participated in a rigorous acquisition review process for CRH. The review ensured the source-selection process is executable as written, reduces risk, and would deliver the warfighter a product that meets the requirement at an affordable price.

Competitive prototyping, which involves commercial, government, or academic sources producing early prototypes of weapon systems or critical subsystems, can help Department of Defense (DOD) programs reduce technical risk, refine requirements,validate designs and cost estimates, and evaluate manufacturing processes prior to makingmajor commitments of resources.The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, as amended (WSARA), requires the Secretary of Defense to modify guidance to ensure that the acquisition strategy for each majordefense acquisition program provides for competitive prototypes before Milestone B approval — which authorizes entry into system development — unless the Milestone Decision Authority waives the requirement.

On November 27, 2012, DOD provided notice that it had waived the competitive prototyping requirement for the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH). DOD’s rationale for waiving WSARA’s competitive prototyping requirement for CRH addresses one of the two bases provided in the statute; namely that the cost of producing competitive prototypes exceeds the expected life-cycle benefits (in constant dollars) of producing the prototypes. The CRH program’s acquisition strategy, which anticipates integrating an existing, in-production and flight-proven aircraft with technologically mature subsystems, is consistent with this rationale. The Air Force believes that any technology risk reduction associated with, or potentially benefitting, the CRH program has already occurred during the efforts to develop these in-production aircraft.

Sikorsky and system integrator Lockheed Martin ended up being the sole bidders in the 112-aircraft, $6.85 billion Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawk CSAR helicopters. AgustaWestland and Northrop Grumman, Boeing and EADS North America all pulled out in December 2012 because they said the source-selection rules for the restaged competition provided little or no credit for exceeding the requirements.

On 04 March 2014 the Air Force announced its intent to award a competitive contract for a new rescue helicopter to carry out the personnel recovery mission. Due to the criticality of this mission, the Air Force would realign about $430 million from other Air Force priorities beyond fiscal year 2014 through 2019 in order to award the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) contract to United Technologies’ Sikorsky. The contract was expected to be signed not later than the end of June 2014. Before moving forward with the contract, the program must complete a Milestone B review including independent cost assessments. In order to enable this timeline, Sikorsky must also agree to extend its pricing through June.

The program achieved MS B in June 2014, after an extended period of inactivity due to uncertainty in Air Force budget priorities. DASD(SE) participated in a SEP review and approval, a Systems Engineering Working Integrated Product Team (SE WIPT), an OIPT, and the MS B DAB. The program is incorporating sound systems engineering practices into program and contractor activities to ensure effective program execution. The CRH program began system development in June 2014 without identifying any critical technologies. In transitioning from the cancelled CSAR-X program, the Air Force removed or lowered requirements for the notional aircraft to ensure technology development was not required.

The reliability and maintainability requirements and engineering activities are realistic and adequately defined in both the SEP and the RAM-C Rationale Report. The H-60W reliability program has planned for a tailored off-the-shelf based approach to reliability design and growth. The program has developed preliminary reliability growth curves, included in the SEP. The program identified the software development schedule as a critical path driver. The program plans to implement an incremental software development approach and increase program office software staffing, but the complexity of the software development effort will not be fully understood until the SRR is complete. The program plans to implement a quantitative metrics tracking process to inform progress to plan.

DOD authorized the program to bypass technology development and enter the acquisition process at system development. In approving the program's entry into system development, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics waived requirements for five components of a certification completed before system development begins: 1) consideration of appropriate trade-offs among cost, schedule, and performance objectives to ensure the program is affordable; 2) the availability of funding through the next five years; 3) a preliminary design review; 4) demonstration of technology in a relevant environment; and 5) competitive prototyping. This decision was also supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. According to program documentation, the first two waivers were granted due to funding onstraints at the time of the decision, and the Air orce plans to realign funding to fully support the program in the fiscal year 2016 budget process.

The reliability and maintainability requirements and engineering activities were realistic and adequately defined in both the SEP and the RAM-C Rationale Report. The HH-60W reliability program has planned for a tailored off-the-shelf based approach to reliability design and growth. The program has developed preliminary reliability growth curves, included in the SEP.

The program identified the software development schedule as a critical path driver. The program plans to implement an incremental software development approach and increase program office software staffing, but the complexity of the software development effort would not be fully understood until the SRR is complete. The program plans to implement a quantitative metrics tracking process to inform progress to plan.

The program was on track with manufacturing requirements appropriate to the program’s current phase. Contractor manufacturing processes and supply chains were mature. Operational production lines exist for the airframe, cockpit, and subsystems, with sufficient production capacity to meet HH-60W requirements.

Concurrent initial aircraft production and subsystem integration were the most significant integration risk. The program planned to ensure close management of the production line to avoid changes that could result from a late understanding of integration requirements for space, weight, power, cooling, wiring, and electromagnetic shielding. The contractor would develop, implement, and maintain a Systems Integration Plan that addresses the system functional configuration and integration process.

The program planned to satisfy the requirement for a preliminary design review in April 2016, approximately 22 months after contract award. For the fourth waiver, the undersecretary determined that a technology readiness assessment was not required based upon the maturity of the required technology presented at the review. As a follow-up to this waiver, the program planned to conduct a technology readiness assessment in the summer of 2015.

The need for competitive prototyping was waived in 2012 due to the determination that the cost of producing the competitive prototyping would exceed the expected life-cycle benefits. Although the program office designed their acquisition strategy to ensure only mature technologies would be incorporated into the CRH, by waiving both competitive prototyping and the demonstration of technology in a relevant environment, and forgoing early systems engineering technical reviews, the program may not have gained sufficient knowledge to enter development with the least amount of risk.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 29-02-2016 18:24:57 ZULU