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    The Army Needs to Explain What’s Going on With the Black Hawk Replacement

    The Army Needs to Explain What's Going on With the Black Hawk Replacement

    The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of .com.

    Earlier this year, I had the honor of attending the delivery ceremony for Sikorsky's 5,000th Black Hawk helicopter. It's a tremendous feat. For the past 40 years, the U.S. armed forces and our allies and partners have flown Black Hawks for countless missions — from carrying the troops that brought Osama Bin Laden to justice to evacuating injured service members on the battlefield.

    The Black Hawk has served our nation with distinction but, after half a century, it's rightfully time for the U.S. to modernize. That's why in 2019 the service put out a call for proposals for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program to replace the Black Hawk. Sikorsky designed the Defiant — a nimble, advanced design of coaxial rotating blades, offering an unparalleled combination of price, maneuverability and range. Another company, Bell Textron, a company with a long and troubled history of making assault helicopters, submitted a proposal for an unproven tiltrotor aircraft that would require building an entire supply chain and basing infrastructure. To make matters worse, even without factoring in the costs of a new supply chain and maintenance facilities, the upfront price of the Bell Textron tiltrotor was significantly more expensive than the Defiant.

    Sikorsky had the better track record; the…

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