Sikorsky has filed a formal protest asking the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the U.S. Army’s decision regarding the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) contract. Boeing, Sikorsky’s partner on its bid for the FLRAA award, is supporting the protest.
Sikorsky and Boeing have indicated that the challenge is based on their review of information and feedback provided by the Army. The companies said that the data and discussions have led them to believe that the FLRAA proposals were not consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the interests of the Army and U.S. taxpayers.
Earlier this month, the Army selected the Bell V-280 tiltrotor aircraft for the FLRAA contract. The V-280 had been competing for the award against the DEFIANT X compound helicopter from Sikorsky and Boeing.
The FLRAA is initially aimed at replacing the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk utility/transport helicopters. The Army has approximately 2,000 Black Hawks in service or planned, though their replacement by FLRAA is unlikely to be on a one-for-one basis.
Program plans call for an initial FLRAA prototype to be delivered to the Army by 2025. First unit equipped is planned for FY30.
For the longer term, the Army has also been considering development of an attack rotorcraft derived from the FLRAA utility model. An attack version would be used to replace the service’s AH-64 Apache helicopters.
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