Report: Airbus, Bell, Leonardo Eye Navy Helicopter Trainer Replacement Contract

The U.S. Navy issued in January a solicitation for a program to replace the TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter trainer and companies such as Airbus, Bell and Leonardo have publicly announced plans to compete for the program, National Defense reported Friday.

The service intends to award a firm-fixed-price contract in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 to buy 130 replacement trainer aircraft and a ground-based training system.

The Navy wants a new Federal Aviation Administration-certified trainer that can operate at true airspeed of 115 knots and at temperatures ranging from -2 degrees to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the request for proposals.

Bell plans to offer its 407GXi aircraft, while Airbus and Leonardo intend to pitch for the program their H135 and TH-119 trainers, respectively.

The Navy sought a base budget worth $261.2M to support the acquisition of 32 replacement helicopter trainers in fiscal 2020, according to budget justification documents obtained by the publication.

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