Defense News: 3 Companies Drop Bids for USAF Combat Rescue Helicopter
A trio of competitors for the U.S. Air Force’s new Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) have decided not to bid on the program, leaving a clear path for Sikorsky to land the nearly $7 billion contract.
EADS North America, Boeing and Northrop Grumman all confirmed to Defense News that they will not be putting in a bid on the program before the Jan. 3 due date. The decision was first reported by Reuters.
The new Combat Rescue Helicopter is DoD’s second attempt over the past decade to replace its heavily used Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawks, some of which have been performing military and civil rescue operations since 1982. The Air Force plans to purchase 112 of the new helicopters. Acquisition officials capped the CRH program at $6.8 billion, meaning any bid that went over that figure would be automatically disqualified.........
Interest in the program had been high — representatives from AgustaWestland, Boeing, EADS, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications and Sikorsky all attended an industry day in September. Now, less than a month before proposals were due, all but one known competitor have said they will not bid.
“Boeing and the Bell Boeing Joint Program Office have told the U.S. Air Force that they will not compete the Boeing CH-47 Chinook or the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey in the Air Force’s Combat Rescue Helicopter competition,” confirmed Boeing spokesman Andrew Lee in a statement. The company said the two helicopters “exceed the parameters” of the request for proposal (RFP) issued in October. Lee added that Boeing informed the Air Force of their decision “in the last week or two.”
“After carefully evaluating the RFP, we have elected not to submit a bid,” said EADS spokesman James Darcy.
“Northrop Grumman has determined that it will not submit a bid to the U.S. Air Force for the Combat Rescue Helicopter program,” Margaret Mitchell-Jones, Northrop spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “We’ve reached this conclusion based on an extensive evaluation of customer requirements under the current RFP. This decision was made jointly with our teammate AgustaWestland and will have no affect on the team’s pursuit of the U.S. Navy presidential helicopter program.”..............