Sikorsky has confirmed they will respond to a US army “sources sought” notice for the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter re-competition.
“Yes, we will be presenting both short- and long-term solutions,” a Sikorsky spokesman says.
I didn’t even have to ask a follow up!
“To your next question, I must decline to elaborate on those solutions,” he adds.
So what does this mean?
It’s not a slam dunk that Sikorsky will compete for the contract. But it adds a very interesting wrinkle to the potential field.
So far, Boeing, AgustaWestland and EADS North America/Eurocopter have confirmed to me that they will respond to the sources sought notice. Bell Helicopter, perhaps still recovering from ARH-70 termination decision last month, says they haven’t decided whether to respond yet.
So what could Sikorsky propose?
We don’t know. But I can guess.
The long-term solution is most likely a military variant of the high-speed X2 coaxial rotorcraft.
The near-term bid could be more interesting. I’m going to guess the Schweizer 330 (see picture above). Sikorsky could even claim a commonality advantage. The US Army has already picked the unmanned version of the Schweizer 333 — Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B Fire Scout — for the Future Combat System.
Next question: anybody want to bet on an ARH bid based on the Robinson R66?