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Extended Hover: The Air Force’s CSAR-X contract award will incur a “minor delay” as the result of the service’s intent to issue a new amendment to the rescue helicopter’s solicitation that clarifies for industry bidders how the service will make its source-selection decision. “The offererors have been notified of the pending amendment that will be released soon,” the Air Force said in a statement issued yesterday. Air Force officials have said they intended to announce the winner of the multi-billion-dollar helicopter contest before the end of the year. This may place that goal in doubt. Still, the Air Force said yesterday it has “full confidence” in its process to determine the winning helicopter—either Boeing’s HH-47, Lockheed Martin’s HH-71, or Sikorsky’s HH-92. “The clarification underscores the Air Force’s commitment to a fair and transparent competition, consistent with the Secretary of the Air Force’s focus on acquisition excellence,” reads the statement. USAF specified that the amendment and corresponding delay are “not associated” with the Pentagon inspector general’s ongoing audit of the CSAR-X requirements development process. The Air Force said it expects the release of the IG’s final report later this year. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the Air Force has brought in a non-profit consulting firm to help it evaluate the CSAR-X bids. The new rescue helicopter will replace the service’s HH-60Gs Pave Hawks.