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Army passes on Sikorsky bid to develop next-generation helicopter

A Sikorsky CH-53 flies over Rottweil via Getty Images
Silas Stein
Getty Images
A Sikorsky CH-53 flies over Rottweil, Germany.

The U.S. Army has turned down a bid from Boeing and Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft to produce a replacement for the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters and awarded the contract to Bell Textron Inc.

David Lehman, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, said Sikorsky will learn more in the coming days about why its bid on the U.S. Army's Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program wasn’t successful.

“Was it around technology? Are there issues around pricing? We don’t know,” Lehman said. “More information will come out, and I think we will – the state and Sikorsky – be ready to win that next bid in 2024.”

Lehman said Connecticut officials are focused on a separate bid Sikorsky will make for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program with its Raider X prototype aircraft.

In a statement, Sikorsky and Boeing officials said they remain confident in the aircraft involved in the losing bid, which was called “DEFIANT X,” and said they will evaluate next steps after reviewing feedback from the Army.

Lehman said Sikorsky will continue to work on the Black Hawk, as the transition to the new long-range assault aircraft may take 20 years.

Sikorsky, now a Lockheed Martin company, employs about 8,000 people in Connecticut.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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