Boeing has won a contract for the manufacture of 24 AH-6i Little Bird light attack/reconnaissance helicopters for Saudi Arabia.
The contract is valued at $234 million procurement of long-lead items, an initial spares package, and ground support equipment. Work will be complete by 31 December 2016, according to a US Dept of Defense statement.
The deal marks Boeing’s first sale of its new AH-6I light armed helicopter, a light gunship derived from the Hughes 500.
The AH-6i features an enhanced powerplant, payload, and avionics package.
The new full-authority digital engine control (FADEC)-equipped Rolls-Royce 250-C30R/3M powerplant (combined with a six-bladed main rotor assembly with composite blades) gives the helicopter the ability to 'hover out of ground effect' (HOGE) at 6,000 ft and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (the US Army's 6k/95 benchmark) with a typical mission weight of 1,800 kg (comprising two crew members, full fuel, and weapons), making it well suited for operating on hot and high environments, according to IHS Janes.