The US Air Force (USAF) has revealed plans to launch competition for procuring two new helicopter fleets which would be critical to nuclear weapon security, and combat search and rescue (CSAR) capability.

The USAF will hold separate open competitions for both the common vertical-lift support platform (CVLSP) programme and the HH-60 recapitalisation programme to meet modern warfighter requirements.

The CVLSP programme is for a 93-helicopter fleet that will replace the current UH-1N Huey fleet, while the HH-60 recapitalisation will replace the 112 aging HH-60G Pave Hawks.

Requests for proposals for the CVLP are expected to be released this summer, with delivery to take place in 2015, while the RFP for the HH-60 programme will be released in 2012.

A short-term solution has been implemented in response to the operational loss replacement programme to maintain current CSAR capability.

The two programmes will ensure sustainment of the warfighter’s capabilities across the whole spectrum of military operations.