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Sikorsky Objected to FLRAA Tender

Sikorsky filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO) regarding the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) tender, which is planned to be the largest helicopter procurement in the last 40 years, which the US Army signed with Textron’s Bell company. 

Bell-manufactured tiltrotor aircraft V-280 Valor and Lockheed Martin’s Defiant X aircraft with coaxial rotor blades from Sikorsky and Boeing faced off in the FLRAA tender. Both aircraft were designed to fit in the same space as a Black Hawk.

The deal for the next-generation helicopter, which is expected to replace approximately 2.000 Black Hawk utility helicopters, is worth $1.3 million. The FLRAA will not be a complete replacement for existing aircraft, but around 2030 will take over the roles of the Black Hawk, a long-time military horsepower to take troops to and around the battlefield.

Paul Lemmo, President of Sikorsky, said in a statement that the team “extensively reviewed the information and feedback provided by the Army” adding: ‘’The data and discussion lead us to believe that proposals have not been consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the best interest of the Army, our soldiers, and the American taxpayer.’’ 

The GAO confirmed that there was “an open protest filing by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation yesterday objecting to the award of the FLRAA tender”. An army spokesperson on Wednesday said it would “comply with GAO requirements” and added that the military would not comment further. Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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