$104.2M for Initial 7 Helicopters in H-1 Upgrade Program
Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. in Fort Worth, TX received a $104.2 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0001) for the H-1 upgrade program covering the Marines’ UH-1 Hueys and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. The funds exercise an option for FY 2005 low rate initial production lot II procurement of 3 AH-1Z Super Cobras, and 4 UH-1Y Huey aircraft.
The H-1 upgrade program involves conversion of both the AH-1 and UH-1 from a two-bladed rotor system to a four-bladed system, and redesignation to AH-1Z and UH-1Y, respectively. The upgrade program is designed to resolve existing safety issues in both aircraft, zero airframe time, reduce life-cycle costs, significantly enhance combat capability, and achieve 85% commonality between aircraft. Major modifications include a new rotor system with semi-automatic blade fold, new composite main and four-bladed tail rotor, upgraded drive system and landing gear, and pylon structural modifications. These aircraft will have increased maneuverability, speed and range, and payload capability. Additionally, both aircraft will incorporate a newly designed, fully integrated, common cockpit that will reduce pilot workload and improve situational awareness.
Overall, the H-1 Upgrades Program will remanufacture 180 AH-1W Cobra and 100 UH-1N Huey helicopters into AH-1Z and UH-1Y models, giving them greater commonality, upgraded capabilities, and airframes that will last through 10,000 flight hours of service life (vid the U.S. Navy’s March 10/05 statement to Congress re: FY 2006 procurement priorities and requests – PDF file).
Work on this particular contract will be performed in Amarillo, TX and is expected to be complete in December 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract modification.