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much of the US$14.6 billion that was to be spent on the cancelled Comanche over the FY2004 to FY2011 period, adding to the US$6.9 billion already squandered, will be used to provide the US Army with 368 new, yet to be designed, armed reconnaissance helicopters to replace Kiowa Warriors, and 303 new light utility helicopters. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for 368 of the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) was issued on 9 December 2004, with a decision understood to be made by June 2005. The US Army will also acquire an additional 20 Chinooks and 80 Black Hawks, upgrade 501 Apache Longbows to Block III configuration and will also fund a joint heavy lift programme to replace all its cargo and heavy lift helicopters by 2020. However, given past procrastination, funding disputes and frequent changes in requirements, the current plan will undoubtedly undergo further revisions in the years ahead.
Originally posted by matej
It is possible that after buying some new up-to-date machines, the real replacement will be UCAR.
I hope future helicopters will get rid of that obsolete anti torque rotors. It's really a shame such helos are still produced, while there are never and better designs such as NOTAR for example.
Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
The Commanche was not a system that was replacing anything, and it is also not a system that needs a replacement.
The Commanche was an airframe that was designed during the Cold War days, when it was assumed we would have to fight in Europe.
Originally posted by Off_The_Street
The ARH procurement is nearing completion. Since I'm involved in it, I can't go into a lot of detail, but this much is out on the street anyway.
There are only two serious bidders, Bell and Boeing. One of the requirements is that the chosen aircraft should be as close to off-the-shelf as possible. We are proposing an MD Helicopter Little Bird (MD530), since the Army already uses them for their 160th SOAR people, and some other Secret Guys. There will be some additional packages, of course.
Bell is bidding one of their JetRanger variants, undoubtedly with some of their extra packages as well. Although the JetRanger variant lacks (in my opinion) certain characteristics the Army would like, Bell has one of the best logistics "tails" in the world, and this is an extremely important selection criterion.
Both proposals have been submitted, and the customer will probably be requesting a BAFO (best and final offer) with the final downselect and subsequent contract award in a couple of months.
Given the high number of aircraft, this procurement is extremely important for both companies.
The real winner, of course, is the US Army, since they will finally be able to get rid of the OH-58 Kiowa, one of the most horrid aircraft ever to disgrace the inventory of any military in history.
Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
Commanche wasn't completely scrapped, the Air Force has a squad of 17, and will continue to use them.