Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has submitted its final bid and proposal for the US Air Force’s (USAF) UH-1N Huey fleet replacement programme.
SNC’s Sierra Force is a new solution that is said to address the USAF’s need to develop a cost-effective, multi-mission aircraft by using an upgraded and remanufactured UH-60L Black Hawk medium utility helicopter.
As part of the UH-1N replacement project, the company will acquire UH-60A helicopters from the US Army and will convert the exterior and interior of the aircraft, modernising them to a cost-effective UH-60L model.
Sierra Nevada integrated mission systems executive vice-president Tim Owings said: “We are very proud of the quality solution offered in this proposal and SNC is confident the airforce will appreciate the combination of advanced technology, low risk and exceptional price.
“Our proposal is based on an open system where the government owns most of the intellectual property and will not be locked in with Sierra Nevada for the 40-year programme period.
“This translates into cost savings for the government over the course of the programme. In short, this creates a best-value solution for the USAF and bolsters the nation’s economy.”
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The Sierra Force UH60L variant will be fitted with two new General Electric Aviation T-701D engines, as well as advanced glass cockpit and avionics suite.
The aircraft’s metal frame offers a longer service life and lower overall maintenance costs.
Helicopter production includes the purchase of UH-60A helicopters through the US Army’s Blackhawk Exchange Support Team (BEST) programme in Huntsville, Alabama, in addition to the A-to-L conversion by the Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas.
Work on the UH-1N replacement aircraft will be carried out at SNC’s Huntsville facility.