- SNC is using an Army helicopter exchange programme for its USAF UH-1N replacement offering
- It could acquire newer L-model Black Hawks through the programme for faster delivery
Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) will utilise a US Army used Black Hawk helicopter exchange programme in its pursuit of the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Bell UH-1N Huey replacement effort, according to a company official.
The programme is the Black Hawk Exchange and Sales Transaction (BEST), which the Army uses to divest A-model Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks out of its inventory. The service can pursue a one-for-one aircraft exchange or other equitable trade, sale, or reimbursable transfer, provided all proceeds are used to purchase, rent, or lease a replacement aircraft, according to a service statement.
Jack Bailey, SNC senior director for proposal developments, told reporters on 31 May that SNC is offering its Sierra Force solution to replace the USAF’s UH-1N fleet. The aircraft utilises a modernised and remanufactured UH-60L Black Hawk aircraft equipped with a Garmin G5000H glass digital avionics suite and mission-specific equipment.
Bailey said SNC will acquire divested UH-60A helicopters and transport them to Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, for inspection and A-to-L-model conversion. Once released to SNC, Bailey said the aircraft will be sent back to a Huntsville, Alabama, facility where it will undergo additional upgrades, installation of the Garmin cockpit display, and additional missionisation before being delivered to the USAF.
Bailey said SNC will use the Pentagon as an informal partner for its UH-1N bid.
“We are buying from the government and then we are modifying through the government,” he said.
L3 Technologies and Ace Aeronautics are serving as subcontractors on SNC’s bid.