Lockheed Martin Canada says its collaboration with NH Industries to offer the MH90 for Canada's Maritime Helicopter Programme (MHP) in competition against the AgustaWestland EH101 does not present a conflict, even though its parent company is partnered with the Anglo-Italian manufacturer to sell the US101 variant to the US military.
"The bid for the helicopter in Canada comes out of Canada. It has a separate team and location and we do not see any conflict. The MH90 is right for Canada and we're taking advantage of that," says Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin Canada president.
The company will act as a mission system integrator, marrying the NH90 airframe with the mission system, drawing heavily on Lockheed Martin's involvement with the US Navy's Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk programme.
AgustaWestland is already partnered with systems integrator Boeing and local manufacturer Bell to offer the EH101 for MHP, a teaming arrangement that predates its tie-up with Lockheed Martin on the US101. The other main contender expected to bid is Sikorsky, offering its H-92 with Bombardier and General Dynamics. Lockheed Martin had been part of AgustaWestland's original EH01 team, selected by Canada before the programme was cancelled in 1993.
The MH90 will retain the Thales Ocean Master radar, but will be offered equipped with the same US forward-looking infrared imager, data management system and mission software now on the MH-90R. The MHP requirement includes the local establishment of a systems integration laboratory, which Spoor says will probably be co-located with a proposed MH90 support centre.
Source: Flight International