The Air Force on Friday released a draft proposal to replace its UH-1N fleet, looking to buy 84 new helicopters to patrol missile fields. The draft request for proposals calls for responses by Dec. 16. The Air Force has said it will have a “full and open” competition for the new helicopters. Air Force Materiel Command will hold its second “industry day” Dec. 12-14 to solicit input from contractors, according to the announcement. The service previously held an industry day in September, with representatives from Bell Helicopter, Airbus, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Sikorsky, and GE Aviation, among others, attending. A contract is expected to be awarded in Fiscal 2018. The service wants off-the-shelf replacements that could be delivered quickly after the award is issued.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.