Spotted: ARH Is Dead … or Is It?

Is the contract for ARH — the army’s ARH-71A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter made by Bell Helicopter — dead or not?

David S. Harvey, a very good journalist on rotorcraft issues for Shephard’s, may have a huge scoop today at that says yes.

ARH: Bolton issues Show Cause letter; other options being studied

The US Army Systems Acquisition Review Council (ASARC) for the ARH was held Tuesday and chaired by Claude Bolton, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology/Army Acquisition Executive.  As a result, Bolton issued a Show Cause letter to Bell stating that the Army had no confidence in Bell’s ability to execute the ARH program.

Expect a T4C (termination for convenience) soon.  This leaves the future of the program in doubt and gives weight to previous reports in that a OH-58D modernisation program using a different sensor system is being considered or that the Army may extend the EC145 LUH program to include an armed scout version.

An email requesting comment has been sent to Bell.

But Rebecca Christie, a very good Pentagon journalist for Dow Jones, published a story yesterday that says no.

  WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The U.S. Army on Wednesday said Textron Inc.’s (TXT)

Bell Helicopter unit will keep its Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter contract for

now, after a program review this week.

More to follow …



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