19 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial

Contract award for US Air Force’s Huey replacement helicopter at risk of delay until FY20

By:

FARNBOROUGH, England — The U.S. Air Force's contract for a replacement to the UH-1N Huey helicopter could be delayed until fiscal 2020 unless Congress adds another $83.4 million to the program.

According to a reprogramming request sent by the Defense Department to Congress, the UH-1N replacement effort is currently considered a “high risk” program due to a pre-award protest by competitor Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, which was dismissed in May.

The protest had temporarily put a hold source selection, deferring a contract planned for June to September. Current funds would expire at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, meaning that if an award was further delayed it would take until FY20 to inject more money to continue on with the program, the request stated.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson acknowledged in May that the contract could be awarded sometime this fall.

“We're going to try and not let that slip too much because we know we need to get the Hueys replaced, but we did get a delay,” she had said.

The Air Force's aging UH-1Ns are most well-known for the role they play defending nuclear missile sites, and it is the importance of this mission that has led to criticism from leaders in Congress and in the U.S. military — including U.S. Strategic Command head Gen. John Hyten — who have said the service needs to move more quickly to procure new helicopters.

Three companies are competing for the Huey replacement award, with the first of a total of 84 new armored helicopters expected for delivery as early as 2020 — although if a contract is delayed until FY20 it seems likely that fielding will not be possible for another couple of years.

Sikorsky is offering the HH-60U, a version of its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with modifications like a rescue hoist and electro-optical sensor. Sierra Nevada Corp. has pitched a modernized, life-extended version of used Army UH-60L aircraft that its calling “Sierra Force.”

Meanwhile, Boeing and Leonardo are partnering on the MH-139, a militarized version of the Italian firm's civilian AW139 helicopter. Boeing submitted the final proposal for the aircraft Tuesday, it confirmed in a statement.

“The Boeing MH-139 is capable, affordable, and ready to serve the United States Air Force's urgent UH-1N replacement needs,” the company said. "With a hot production line in Philadelphia, we are well-positioned to meet the USAF's delivery requirements for fielding this vital platform as soon as possible.”

While the requirements for the helicopter were not made public, the Air Force has specified nine fully loaded troops without needing to be refueled for an endurance of at least 225 nautical miles. They also should be able to fly three hours while maintaining a 135-knot cruise speed.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/07/18/contract-award-for-air-forces-huey-replacement-helicopter-at-risk-of-delay-until-fy20

Sur le même sujet

  • Point Blank throws hat in ring to design US Army’s Bradley replacement

    29 avril 2021 | International, Terrestre

    Point Blank throws hat in ring to design US Army’s Bradley replacement

    Here's a look at the latest nontraditional business to emerge as a competitor to build the U.S. Army's optionally manned fighting vehicle.

  • When does industry expect France and Germany to set its future tank requirements?

    15 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    When does industry expect France and Germany to set its future tank requirements?

    By: Pierre Tran PARIS ― KNDS expects France and Germany to deliver by early next year key military requirements for a future heavy tank, said the two chairmen of the Franco-German joint venture for land weapons. “Within this year or latest next year,” said Frank Haun, CEO of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and joint chairman of KNDS. Haun and Stephen Mayer, CEO of Nexter and joint chairman of KNDS, spoke June 13 to Defense News at the Eurosatory trade show on land weapons. Those requirements for a next-generation tank are seen as critical to the future of KNDS, formed in 2015. KMW is a private company owned by the Wegmann family, while Nexter is state-owned. The French and German defense ministers have given political pledges to back a new tank, dubbed Main Ground Combat System, and new-generation artillery, or Common Indirect Fire System. Industry leaders are waiting for the French and German army chiefs of staff to set out requirements that will shape the programs, which may lead to a consolidation of European land weapons for industry and lead to the military sharing the same tank and artillery. That Main Ground Combat System will be the successor to the Leclerc and Leopard 2 tanks, the main battle tanks for the French and German armies, respectively. An entry into service is expected in 2035. There are signs of an eagerness for the requirements, which could open a new chapter. “They need something now,” Haun said. Much hangs on whether the two army chiefs of staff will agree on a common requirement that would allow French and German industry to design, develop and build the same tank. “Will they agree?” Haun said. “We don't know, but we think so.” Added Mayer: “We think so.” The French and German army chiefs of staff are due to meet in the next few weeks to discuss operational requirements, a French military source said. That critical list of requirements launches “an iterative process,” with companies studying the operational needs and responding, Mayer said. “It is more than a political statement but not a final definition,” Hain said. At the Berlin Air Show in April, it was reported the French and German defense ministers said a German company would lead the new tank program. German industrial leadership was seen as opening the door to Rheinmetall. KNDS, however, is confident its capabilities as a “systems house” will lead to winning the prized prime contractorship, and Nexter sees no problem of a German leadership on the tank. “KNDS has all the competences needed to be the system house for MGCS,” Mayer said. “Both Nexter and KMW have that. We are French-German, we are able together to manage the program and to make a joint team, and also to respect the decision of the two countries to have a German leadership.” There were “no problems inside the group,” he added. Said Haun: “We are as French as we are German.” A German company leading the tank program follows a leading German role through Airbus for a project for a European medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV. A French company will take the top job in the third bilateral project, dubbed Future Combat Air System. Research and development for the tank will likely require some €1 billion (US $1.2 billion) over 10 years, with the government partially funding the work, Haun said. There will be new concepts, new technology, protection, communications, more artificial intelligence and “robotization.” There will be a new gun, with caliber size weighed against mobility and protection. A maximum weight is seen as 70 tons. The tank will likely be linked to robots through “automatization.” There will also be a need to cut the cost of spares and logistical support. Work on the new artillery project is similar to that on the tank, with active discussion on theCommon Indirect Fire System , which is on a similar timescale, around 2035. Mayer noted that French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly referred to the planned artillery in her June 11 speech at Eurosatory. In her remarks, she said work by KNDS on the tank and gun projects can be interpreted as signs of cooperation with Germany. “This industrial partnership speaks much of the ambition we have with Germany, with which we share programs which will be of structural importance for our armies and the future of our defense.” Sebastian Sprenger contributed to this report. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/eurosatory/2018/06/14/when-does-industry-expect-france-and-germany-to-set-its-future-tank-requirements/

  • Army backs off idea to submit its own bid in Bradley replacement competition

    18 septembre 2020 | International, Terrestre

    Army backs off idea to submit its own bid in Bradley replacement competition

    Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The Army is backing off a plan for the service to submit its own bid to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle replacement competition after it indicated its intention to offer up its own design in a draft request for proposals posted in July. The service tried once before to competitively solicit designs for its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) but ended up with just one offering after its requirements proved too onerous to industry and included a requirement to deliver a working prototype to the Army by October 2019. In a statement sent to Defense News Sept. 17 from Ashley John, an Army spokeswoman, she said “As a result of industry feedback and continuous dialogue between Army senior leaders, the government will not submit a proposal in response to the OMFV RFP. A revision to the draft OMFV RFP was made today and deletes paragraph A.3.1 Interested Government Offeror in its entirety." The Army's intention to develop its own bid was met with scrutiny as industry officials questioned whether the service could play the game after service leaders had already seen industry's cards during an earlier iteration of the competition. The move, many in industry thought, would have easily teed up protests. With pressure to get the competitive process right this time in a program where the service plans to spend $4.6 billion from fiscal 2022 through FY26, it is turning to industry input earlier and more than ever. Congress questioned Army leaders earlier this year on why it seemed the service did not pay attention to the signs or listen to industry and make adjustments before having to cancel its previous competition. First, BAE Systems, which manufactures the Bradley, decided not to compete due to unachievable requirements set within a very short timeline. Then the Army had to disqualify a Raytheon and Rheinmetall team because they couldn't get a physical bid sample to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, in time. The service, this time around, reviewed and analyzed over 500 industry comments in response to the draft RFP and will now spend several weeks providing responses to industry concerns, John said. “As we continue to progress through the first-phase of our five-phased approach for the OMFV program, communication, inclusive feedback and innovative thinking from industry remains key,” John said. The Army waded back into the OMFV effort with the release of a market survey in February that tapped industry for ideas on what a future vehicle might look like. The market survey itself asked companies to weigh in on what affected their decisions to participate in the previous OMFV competitive effort and how the Army might better engage with industry this time around. Instead of providing a laundry list of requirements that when paired together became unachievable — especially when delivered over an ambitious fielding goal of 2026 — the Army will give industry roughly nine characteristics with which to work. The Army is also not requiring the delivery of physical bid samples in the first phase of competition. The Army plans to release a final RFP in December, which will results in the award of up to five contracts in June 2021. It appears likely that the Raytheon and Rheinmetall team and General Dynamics Land Systems will submit bids for the new competition. BAE Systems has not publicly said whether they plan to compete this time. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/09/17/army-backs-off-idea-to-submit-its-own-bid-in-bradley-replacement-competition/

Toutes les nouvelles