Monday, October 30, 2017

Sierra-Nevada Corporation's Force Hawk for USAF Huey Replacement...

via Janes.
Sierra-Nevada Corporation (SNC) has joined Boeing and Lockheed Martin in pitching a solution for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) UH-1N Huey Replacement Program, the company confirmed to Jane’s on 28 October.

The Nevada-based is to pitch upgraded surplus UH-60 Black Hawks for the competition to replace the USAF’s current 62 UH-1N Huey's helicopters with up to 84 new platforms. Boeing has already revealed its MH-139 offering with Leonardo, while Lockheed Martin is pitching new-build UH-60s built by its subsidiary company Sikorsky
Story here. 

This is a rather boring program for what should be a simple replacement.  The USAF needs a helicopter for its Security Force to conduct missions safeguarding our nuclear missiles.

It's turned into a dogfight because everyone is scrambling for defense dollars.

But that's not why I'm watching it.

What has me a bit confused is that this is so simple that I don't understand why the USAF didn't simply do a sourcing deal with the Army and buy the latest BlackHawk under their acquisition program.

So what we're left with is the USAF doing a program to replace the Huey and a service that says its short of money and has three big ticket aircraft (F-35, B-21, KC-46) coming down the pike while also having to throw money at maintainers and pilots to remain in the service.

That's why SNC can offer their helicopter.

The USAF is facing a money crunch.

The days after the Trump election of the DoD and certain Congressman thinking that they would be able to dramatically plus up defense spending is over.

How the Air Force goes with this will be telling.

Either they see an "event" that will bolster defense spending or they'll go into a hole trying to save as much money as possible.  I can't wait to see which way they go, but it'll be telling.

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