The U.S. Army has announced its intent to seek proposals for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program, Defense News reported Thursday.
The service said in the presolicitation notice posted Wednesday on the beta SAM website that Textron's Bell subsidiary and Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky business are the only two sources that have the capability to develop, produce, test and deliver prototypes and proceed with initial FLRAA production to achieve First Unit Equipped status by fiscal year 2030.
Sikorsky and its partner Boeing are expected to propose their SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter, while Bell is expected to offer its V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft for the FLRAA program.
Other vendors that can develop and manufacture the aircraft needed to achieve FUE by FY 2030 should state their capabilities within 15 days of the presolicitation's publication, according to the notice.
The Army expects to release the draft solicitation by the end of 2020 and the final request for proposals in fiscal 2021. The service plans to award a contract in FY 2022 and the selected contractor will need to submit a preliminary design review about eight months after the award.