posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 06:46 PM
Despite winning the last attempt to replace the Presidential VH-3 helicopters, AgustaWestland has declined to offer the AW101 (VH-71 Kestral) in the
newest attempt to replace the helicopters. The previous contract was voided after costs skyrocketed to ridiculous levels. The VH-71 was built by
AgustaWestland and Lockheed Martin. The initial contract award was for $1.7B, but by March 2008, total cost was projected to be $11.2B, or $400M per
This time around AgustaWestland teamed with Northrop Grumman, but after reading the RFP, had this to say:
"After a comprehensive analysis of the final RFP [request for proposal], dated May 3, 2013, we determined that we were unable to compete
effectively given the current requirements and the evaluation methodology defined in the RFP," says AgustaWestland, which had teamed with Northrop
Grumman for the new requirement. "There are fundamental proposal evaluation issues that we believe inhibit our ability to submit a competitive
offering, and that provide a significant advantage to our likely competitor. The decision to withdraw was most difficult, as we believe we have the
best, most suitable aircraft for the president."
Generally the 2013 RFP called for a smaller, less capable aircraft than the VH-71.
What makes me laugh here, is that after the draft was released in November 2012, there was a protest/comment phase that was opened, and nothing was
said by any of the companies, until this announcement was made.
It's believed now that the only competitor will be the Sikorsky S-92. Sikorsky was also the only bidder for the USAF Combat Search and Rescue
replacement, with the MH-60.