The Department of Defense (DOD) on Wednesday posted a Sources Sought notification on the Federal Business Opportunities website asking the industry to let the Department know if they’re capable of manufacturing and delivering 114 Sikorsky UH/HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the US Army and other agencies of US government and DOD.
Jane’s 360 reported that the additional HH-60M medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and UH-60M utility helicopters could potentially be solicited to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers as well.
Interested parties have 30 days to respond to the request for information (RFI) for the helicopters, and any bid would have to allow for teaming with Sikorsky ‘s parent company Lockheed Martin, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), as he government does not own proprietary information for the Black Hawks.
The US Army is the largest operator of the helicopters, with 2,300 UH-60 designed craft. There are more than 3,000 Black Hawks of all kinds in service all over the world.
Black Hawk helicopters have been used in "countless combat zones to deliver and extract troops, save lives as a MEDEVAC or casualty evacuation platform, provide critical supplies to troops, deliver emergency supplies during natural disasters, and perform as an aerial firefighter and border patroller," according to Lockheed Martin.
The US-based manufacturer added that the helicopter’s newest variant will also act as "an Armed Helicopter to provide fire suppression when supporting ground troops, as well as armed escort," using "digital avionics, powerful GE engines, high strength airframe structures and composite wide chord rotor blades," giving it better situational awareness and survivability than its predecessors.