A NORTHROP Grumman-led team has formally joined the competition to provide long-term contractor support of the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt, to be used as a close-air-support/forward-air-control aircraft by the US Air Force until at least 2028.

In late April, Lockheed Martin announced its bid for the A-10 work, with the firm's Federal Systems unit to lead the programme. Boeing is also expected to bid for the A-10 contracts, which could be worth $500 million over the life of the project.

The formal request for proposal was expected to be issued before the end of May, with responses due for evaluation in July. A contract award is scheduled for March 1998. The initial contract is expected to run for nine years. Contract options will support the aircraft until they are retired, beyond the turn of the century.

Source: Flight International