On Friday, the Navy issued a draft request for proposals that maps out its plan to buy 25 new helicopters, giving companies until Dec. 5 to respond. It also invited bidders to an unclassified conference to be held the week of Dec. 10, when government officials will answer questions about the proposed terms of the competition.
This time, Lockheed Martin is paired with Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp, offering Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopter.
Lockheed’s partner on the previous program, Finmeccanica SpA unit AgustaWestland, has teamed up with Northrop Grumman Corp, to submit a possible bid based on AgustaWestland 101 helicopter.
Boeing Co said it is also studying a possible bid based on its H-47 Chinook helicopter or the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that it builds with Textron Inc’s Bell Helicopter unit.
Interesting how LM must know every iota about what AW is up to, yet bailed out on them and are now in bed with Sikorsky. Also last time NG was a partner on Sikorsky's proposal.
In the draft request, which was posted to a federal procurement website on Nov. 23, the Navy said its acquisition plan aimed to integrate mature communications equipment into an existing aircraft. It said it expected to issue a final draft request for proposals in March 2013 and award an initial engineering and design contract by mid-2014.
“We’re pursuing a technically viable and cost-effective aircraft to replace the current presidential helicopters,” said Navy spokeswoman Kelly Burdick. “No PowerPoint planes.”
Captain Cate Mueller, another Navy spokeswoman, said the Navy planned to award a fixed-price contract with an incentive fee for the development program, moving to fixed-price terms for low rate initial production and full production.
She said the new program was structured to emphasize “affordability, cost control and risk reduction in balance with system performance,” before any major contracts are awarded.
As opposed to non affordability, lack of cost control and risk acceptance?
Point being we all start off with such goals, but how can you expect LM to deliver such, given the disasters of VH-71 and F-35?
The "No PowerPoint" rule means we should see derivatives of existing aircraft, so chances are good it'll be the same core airframes as last time. Boeing tried to offer the Chinook last time, but it was deemed too loud and big for the job, and I imagine an Osprey would have similar challenges.