Sierra Nevada (SNC) has submitted its Sierra Force helicopter in its final bid and proposal to replace the United States Air Force’s (USAF) UH-1N Huey fleet.
SNC will purchase divested UH-60A helicopters from the US Army. Then, it will convert the aircraft’s exterior and interior, upgrade it to a UH-60L model. This allows for a modern, cost-effective helicopter, the company said in a statement Monday.
The A model has a lower price-per-unit to purchase, but once the conversion to an L model is complete, Sierra Force is essentially a new aircraft. The Sierra Force UH60L is equipped with two new General Electric Aviation T-701D engines and a glass cockpit and avionics suite. SNC makes use of a metal airframe for the Sierra Force different from composite materials.
“Our proposal is based on an open system where the government owns most of the intellectual property and will not be locked in with SNC for the 40-year program period,” Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Integrated Mission Systems business area said. “This translates into cost savings for the government over the course of the program.”
The Sierra Force helicopter production plan includes acquiring UH-60A helicopters through the US Army’s Blackhawk Exchange Support Team (BEST) program in Huntsville, Alabama and A-to-L conversion by the Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas. Upgrade, missionization and delivery activities will be conducted at SNC’s Huntsville facility.