The Air Force has been trying to bid a new CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) helicopter. The original contract was going to go to Sikorsky as a sole
source contractor, but the Air Force bowed to pressure to open it for bidding. Now, the only bidder standing is Sikorsky. Everyone else has decided
not to bid, based on the RFP that was sent out.
Sikorsky is going to offer another Blackhawk modification for the program, which if it stands, is capped at over $6B. Boeing was expected to offer
the H-47, or V-22. AgustaWestland(Northrop Grumman) was expected to offer the AW101. EADS most likely would have pitched the EC725.
However, every other potential contender for the USAF contract, which is capped at $6.84 billion, has decided not to bid for the programme. Many
of the contractors dropped out because of the evaluation criteria for the bids, says Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, who notes that
this "essentially makes this a price shootout".
"A thorough analysis of the final RFP [request for proposals] has been conducted and Northrop Grumman has determined that it will not submit a bid to
the US Air Force for the combat rescue helicopter programme," Northrop says. "We've reached this conclusion based on an extensive evaluation of
customer requirements under the current RFP."
Northrop, which is partnered with European airframer AgustaWestland, had intended to offer a variant of the AW101 for the CRH effort. "This decision
was made jointly with our teammate AgustaWestland and will have no effect on the team's pursuit of the US Navy presidential helicopter programme," it
Like Northrop and AgustaWestland, EADS has also decided not to pursue the opportunity. "After carefully evaluating the RFP, we have decided that we
will not submit a bid. As with any bid/no-bid decision, a multitude of factors were considered in our analysis," the company says. EADS has not
publicly said which aircraft it had intended to offer, but it is likely it would have pitched the Eurocopter EC725.
edit on 12/13/2012 by
Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)