Air Platforms

US Army seeks 120 AH-6 helos for Saudi Arabia and other FMS customers

10 January 2018
The US Army is looking to buy upwards of 120 AH-6SA and AH-6i (pictured) helicopters for Saudi Arabia and other allied operators. Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

The US Army has issued a request for information (RFI) for up to 120 Boeing AH-6 light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft for Saudi Arabia and other undisclosed allied operators.

The sources-sought notification, which was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website on 9 January, covers the manufacture and delivery of the ‘Little Bird’ helicopters in the AH-6SA (Saudi Arabia) and AH-6i (International) configurations.

Numbers were not disclosed for each variant, though an RFI released by the US Army in early 2016 for 72 AH-6i variant helicopters only suggests that the additional 48 platforms included in this latest solicitation might be AH-6SAs for Saudi Arabia.

As well as the supply of the helicopters, spares, ground support equipment, training of initial key personnel, and transportation, the indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract would also include weapons, countermeasures, and other ancillary equipment.

Specific weapons named in the statement of work (SOW) comprise M260 Hydra 70 mm unguided rockets; BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II guided rockets; Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles; General Dynamics GAU-19B 12.7 mm Gatling guns; and Dillon Aero M134D 7.62 mm Mini Guns.

Countermeasures comprise the Northrop Grumman AN/APR-39 radar warning receiver (RWR), while ancillary equipment noted include Harris AN/AVS-6 night-vision goggles; the 62 US Gallon Goliath internal auxiliary fuel tank; external plank seating; as well as an alternate electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor system to the baseline L3 Wescam MX-10/15Di.

The US Army stated that the AH-6SA/AH-6i helicopters will be delivered in the Performance Enhancement Production Upgrade Configuration. This comprises composite main rotor blades; upgraded mast /mast base HI-LOK fasteners; reverse direction tail rotor system (including directional flight controls and tail rotor drive shaft); as well as an extended tail boom.

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