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

Shaun McDougall is an analyst at Forecast International covering the U.S. and Canadian defense markets.

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