USAF releases HH-60 Recap RFI
The US Air Force (USAF) has released a request for information (RFI) for its HH-60 Recapitalization (HH-60 Recap) programme, which aims to replace the force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.
The new system will be used for personnel recovery missions, and it is expected the aircraft will be an existing production helicopter, according to the RFI, which was released on 9 August.
The USAF said it is only interested in a ‘full aircraft system solution’ to replace some 112 Pave Hawks.
A contract award is expected by 2013, and an initial operating capability (IOC) of eight aircraft, including training system and support, is required by 2018. This IOC will consist of four primary training aircraft inventory (PTAI) and four primary mission aircraft inventory (PMAI) aircraft.
The RFI’s purpose is to obtain market insight into the solutions that vendors have able to offer, and to see if they meet the requirements of the programme’s capability development document (CDD). It also serves as an update to previous RFIs for the programme issued in March and October 2010.
In April, the air force quelled speculation that the HH-60 Recap programme would be combined with the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform (CVLSP) project.
At the time AgustaWestland North America said it would offer the HH-71, which is based on the AW101, for the CSAR mission. Other possible contenders for the programme include the UH-60M, Boeing’s HH-47 Chinook and the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
The USAF has already ordered 15 UH-60Ms from Sikorsky’s US Army production line as attrition replacements for older Pave Hawks serving the CSAR community. Following role conversion, these will be designated HH-60M Pave Hawk IIs.
The Recap programme replaces the earlier CSAR-X programme, which had selected the HH-47 Chinook before it was cancelled in 2009.
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