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Sikorsky Takes the High Road: Will Not Pursue Legal Action After Losing $70bn Contract for Helicopter Replacement

Bell has been awarded a contract to manufacture the V-280 Valor helicopter, a convertible aircraft for the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program, after winning the tender.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing raised objections, but their claims were dismissed. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, stated that they have no intention of pursuing legal action. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) rejected a complaint from Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who argued that their Defiant X helicopter was a better and more lucrative option for the US Army.

Sikorsky still believes that their design is superior to that of their competitor, but they have no plans to go to court. Instead, they will concentrate on creating a new aircraft for the US Army through the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program.

The first prototype flight tests are planned for fiscal year (FY) 2024, and development will continue through FY2026. Sikorsky will also maintain the Black Hawk helicopter.

The FLRAA project’s goal is to replace 3,200 Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. Bell will receive $1.3 billion to construct the V-280 Valor helicopter and $7 billion for initial production. The project’s overall cost may reach $70 billion.



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