USAF looks to upgrade UH-1Ns

The US Air Force is asking industry for information on howto increase the Bell UH-1N’s endurance, range, speed, all-weather capability,survivability and equip it with modernized communication and navigation systemcapabilities. The USAF wants that requirement filled in fiscal years 2014 to2018.


Given that laundry list, it sure sounds like the USAFbasically wants to recreate the US Marine Corps’ new Bell UH-1Y Venom–sans sensor ball. TheYankee has all of the characteristics that the USAF lists in its new Requestfor Information…


The Marines are buying new-build “Yankees,” but hadoriginally wanted to remanufacture their old Novembers.


web_081103-N-4366B-001UH1y.jpgIncidentally, the USAF is already taking on some of theMarines’ cast off UH-1Ns… 


This new Air Force endeavor basically replaces the service’sCommon Vertical Lift Support Platform (CVLSP) effort that was killed in thefiscal year 2013 budget proposal.


But the Air Force still has its Combat Rescue Helicopter(CRH) program, which it is working on… However, it does have a long and storiedhistory of bungling helicopter acquisitions (And pretty much everything elsetoo–LAS anyone? The KC-46 looks hopeful–for now).


So place your bets… will the Air Force drop the ball yetagain on the CRH, or is it quadrillionth time lucky?


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