The US Army has issued a sources sought notice for the production and delivery of 72 Boeing AH-6i ‘Little Bird’ scout and light attack helicopters for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.
The notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on 6 April is in support of market research to determine the feasibility of a competitive acquisition, and to identify parties to support a requirement for the production and delivery of 72 AH-6i helicopters, as well as providing non-recurring engineering, initial spares, and ground support equipment.
As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Boeing will build and supply an initial 12 helicopters for an undisclosed Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer in accordance with a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) already signed, while the remaining 60 will be opened up to other “interested parties”.
To date, only the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) has ordered the AH-6i, with deliveries of 24 helicopters set to begin in June. While no further customers have yet been announced, Jordan has previously signed an LOA for 18 such helicopters with an option for a further six.
With the first 12 earmarked for a particular customer (either Jordan or some other country), the remaining 60 will be spread across a number of operators. Although open to other parties, there is a high degree of probability that Boeing will secure any future contracts as the OEM.
Neither Boeing nor the US Army had responded to a request for further information by the time IHS Jane’s went to press.
According to the US Army notification, the interested parties shall be capable of producing and delivering up to 24 AH-6i aircraft annually for a total of 72 aircraft over a three-year period.
Further to delivering the helicopters themselves, the interested parties shall be capable of producing and/or delivering weapon systems hardware in variable quantities to include M260 2.75 inch (70 mm) Hydra rocket launchers; M310 dual-rail Hellfire missile launchers; M34 Hellfire dummy missiles; M36 Hellfire captive flight trainer missiles; GAU-19/B Gatling guns and ancillary equipment; M134D-H Gatling guns and ancillary equipment, and external personnel seating plank systems (B-Kit).