Deborah Lee James: Air Force Considers to Waive Fixed-Price Requirement in 2017 NDAA for JSTARS Replacement Program

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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has said the service branch has begun to consider whether to use a provision in the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill to waive a fixed-price contract requirement for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft replacement program, Defense News reported Friday.

“There is also a waiver authority in that language, and so we are also in discussions with [the office of the secretary of defense] about the possibilities there,” James told Defense News reporter Valerie Insinna in an interview.

The fixed-price contract requirement and an authority to waive such a requirement are included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that passed both the House and Senate.

James noted that she asked Darlene Costello, Air Force acquisition executive, to reassess whether it is feasible to use a fixed-price contract instead of a combination of firm-fixed-price and cost-plus structures for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the JSTARS replacement program, Insinna reports.

The Air Force plans to award the EMD contract in FY 2018 as part of its plan to procure 17 planes under the JSTARS program, according to the report.

The report added that Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin plan to bid on the contract.

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