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Northrop Grumman to compete for FVL (MS) requirement for US Navy

As the provider of the MQ-8C (pictured), Northrop Grumman feels it is well placed to bid for the USN's FVL (MS) requirement that will replace both this and the MH-60 airframes in the 2030s. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman is to compete for the US Navy (USN) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) (Maritime Strike [MS]) requirement to replace the service's fleet of Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk and Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout platforms in the 2030s.

A company spokesperson told Janes on 26 April that it had responded to the request for information (RFI) in 2021, noting that it has yet to decide if it will bid on its own or in a partnership.

β€œWe are definitely heavily engaged in FVL (Maritime Strike),” Richard Sullivan, vice-president of future programmes for Northrop Grumman said.

As the current provider of the MQ-8C, which the USN is looking to replace via its FVL (MS) effort, Northrop Grumman told Janes that it is keen to engage in the effort, either on its own or collaboratively with Leonardo Helicopters, with whom it signed a strategic alliance in 2021 to jointly pursue vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) opportunities.

With the USN having launched its analysis of alternatives (AoA) phase of the programme in January, Northrop Grumman and other interested parties are examining how they might best meet the different mission areas that any FVL (MS) platform would be required to fulfil. These will include intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR); anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW); mine countermeasures (MCM); air warfare (AW); search and rescue (SAR); airborne early warning and control (AEW&C); special operations forces (SOF) support; shipborne operations; logistical support; and airborne medical evacuation (medevac).

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