U.S. Navy Issues RFP for New Training Helicopter

The U.S. Navy has issued a Request for Proposals for a new helicopter to replace its TH-57B/C fleet, which is used for advanced helicopter training for undergraduate pilots.  The TH-57 is based on the Bell 206 JetRanger.

two helicopters flying over a beach

Two TH-57 Sea Ranger Helicopters Fly over the Emerald Coast in Pensacola, Florida. Source: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy is looking to buy up to 130 commercial off-the-shelf aircraft through a base contract, and up to four optional orders.  Proposals are due on April 2, and a contract award is anticipated in the first quarter of FY20.  The service wants to procure aircraft between FY20 and FY24.

The Navy wants an aircraft with a single turbine engine, and the aircraft must be able to achieve Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certification.

Potential contenders include the Airbus H135, Bell 407GXi, and Leonardo TH-119 (based on the AW119).

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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