Bell V-280 Valor


A bit more information on the protest methodology and timelines.
 
I have the feeling that this can only end badly for LM.

Imagine CNN got their hands on a leaked report about Sikorsky failure to meet KPI, the messed architecture, the lack of practical aspect of their design...

Meanwhile LM is fighting hard to get their F-35 program to completion, against all the dirty marketing money, the imbeciles and the WWW.

This is not a protest, this is masochism and, I fear, the protest too much.
 
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I have the feeling that this can only end badly for LM.

Imagine CNN got their hands on a leaked report about Sykorsky failure to meet KPI, the messed architecture, the lack of practical aspect of their design...

Meanwhile LM is fighting hard to get their F-35 program to completion, against all the dirty marketing money, the imbeciles and the global WWW.

It might really be the protest too much.
Just a simple question, does anyone know the reasons why the Army choose the Bell aircraft and not the Boeing/Sikorsky? and which were the advantages or disadvantages on both crafts?
 
I have the feeling that this can only end badly for LM...
Just a simple question, does anyone know the reasons why the Army choose the Bell aircraft and not the Boeing/Sikorsky? and which were the advantages or disadvantages on both crafts?

So far the details are not available in public domain... and maybe never will.

In regard to future battlefield scenarios I would think range was the decisive factor. And there is no way a compound helicopter could outperform a tilt rotor aircraft in this regard.

Or in other words:
Bell demonstrated that Valor can do everything a helicopter can do in the slow speed regime AND provides unmatched speed and range as well.
 
I have the feeling that this can only end badly for LM...
Just a simple question, does anyone know the reasons why the Army choose the Bell aircraft and not the Boeing/Sikorsky? and which were the advantages or disadvantages on both crafts?

So far the details are not available in public domain... and maybe never will.

In regard to future battlefield scenarios I would think range was the decisive factor. And there is no way a compound helicopter could outperform a tilt rotor aircraft in this regard.

Or in other words:
Bell demonstrated that Valor can do everything a helicopter can do in the slow speed regime AND provides unmatched speed and range as well.
thanks, makes sense at least for one of the reasons, but it is a pity, that they don't make public the all report, about why they choose one over the other, at least Boeing/Sikorsky will have access the army report and to the reasons why they choose Bell craft.
 
I have not followed this before but based on past complicated solutions to helicopter replacements I see the Blackhawk beating both of these monstrosities and remaining in production for many years to come along with the Chinook.
 
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@pedrospe - If you watch the "Hitler meme" in post #2344 of the JMR (Joint Multi-Role) & FVL (Future Vertical Lift) thread, posted by Spyclip, I think you will get a pretty good idea of some of the technical issues that went into the decision.
 
@pedrospe - If you watch the "Hitler meme" in post #2344 of the JMR (Joint Multi-Role) & FVL (Future Vertical Lift) thread, posted by Spyclip, I think you will get a pretty good idea of some of the technical issues that went into the decision.
Thanks yasotay, i will check it out.
 
I have not followed this before but based on past complicated solutions to helicopter replacements I see the Blackhawk beating both of these monstrosities and remaining in production for many years to come along with the Chinook.

Very likely. And I expect a "KingHawk" to replace the Seahawk at some point for the Navy embarked helicopter role. Basically a new aircraft resembling the Seahawk in the same way that the King Stallion resembles the Super Stallion. Same nameplate but blown out to increase usable weight and volume while still fitting in an S-70 compatible hangar.
 
I have not followed this before but based on past complicated solutions to helicopter replacements I see the Blackhawk beating both of these monstrosities and remaining in production for many years to come along with the Chinook.
The venerable Blackhawk will be with us till at least 2050 and will undoubtedly see at least one more major retrofit. It cannot however meet the REQUIREMENTS specified by field commanders, especially in the Pacific theater. At the risk of sounding belligerent (not my intent at all), I have to smile as I heard Huey pilots say the same words about the "Crashhawk/Trashhawk/Lawndart" that the Blackhawk was called when it first entered service and had a bad habit of flipping over and killing all onboard until they learned about EMP on unshielded fly-by-wire systems. Certainly, the replacement will be more complex, but then that is almost always the case, especially with aircraft.
Interestingly, Sikorsky just received slightly less than one billion dollars (US) for the final tranche of H-60.
 
Fair point about the move from Huey to Blackhawk.

But there is a tilt rotor helicopter already in service with the USMC. I can see someone wondering why the US Army needs a different one with all the trials and tribulations that it will have.
 
Fair point about the move from Huey to Blackhawk.

But there is a tilt rotor helicopter already in service with the USMC. I can see someone wondering why the US Army needs a different one with all the trials and tribulations that it will have.

Osprey is essentially thirty year old tech at this point. You can make a good case for the V-280 being the lessons-learned/product-improved version, sized to Army rather than Marine needs. (compare CH-46 vs CH-60)
 
Hope you are right. The V-280 looks pretty big to me compared with a UH60.
As long as it does what the Army wants with no unpleasant surprises I will be delighted to be proved wrong but the Comanche experience does not bode well. There was supposed to be a variant of that to replace Hueys.
 
@uk 75 - As a veteran of the Comanche debacle I am with you on that. The good news, I think, is that a Bell representative said to me a few days after the award "Now the hard part starts." I can only hope that the dread mission creep does not manifest itself in the FLRAA program.
 
I have not followed this before but based on past complicated solutions to helicopter replacements I see the Blackhawk beating both of these monstrosities and remaining in production for many years to come along with the Chinook.

Very likely. And I expect a "KingHawk" to replace the Seahawk at some point for the Navy embarked helicopter role. Basically a new aircraft resembling the Seahawk in the same way that the King Stallion resembles the Super Stallion. Same nameplate but blown out to increase usable weight and volume while still fitting in an S-70 compatible hangar.
 

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Heh, But I think S-92 is actually too big (especially width-wise) to fit in a DDG-51 hangar. The maximum box allowable isn't much bigger than an SH-60B all folded up.
 
Not to mention the production line for the S-92 is closed if I am not mistaken. Also S-92 are not militarized to US standards.
 
Not to mention the production line for the S-92 is closed if I am not mistaken. Also S-92 are not militarized to US standards.

Yes, the S-92 finally assembly facility closed in early 2022, but they apparently plan or at least hope to reconstitute it somewhere (possibly Poland) when/if the offshore transport business picks up again.


And of course the VH-92 is in production right now.
 
Very enlightening. One can see at first glance how the Valor is both shorter and "lower" than the Sikorsky (good luck, Mister Sikorsky - I'll get my coat, NOW).
 
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Also, it's easy to see how SB-1 is all engine and not much sized to carry a platoon

Neither is the V-280. The cabin is similar in size to the H-60, a squad/section transport.
 
I am referring to the size of the cabin vs the size of the aircraft. I think it spokes pretty well by itself on those drawings.
 
I am referring to the size of the cabin vs the size of the aircraft. I think it spokes pretty well by itself on those drawings.

My point is that they are both sized around the same payload.
 
I’ve rewatched the Defiant videos and have to admit it’s an awesome looking beast, but for the stated mission the Valor looks like the more flexible design. A fuselage free of the drivetrain and wings to hang fuel and free fall stores from seem like an advantage to me.
 
Connecticut lawmakers are supporting bid protest to FLRAA contract

(Inside Defense, Jan. 6, Dan Schere)

Connecticut's congressional delegation is throwing its support behind Sikorsky and Boeing’s protest of the Future Long Range-Assault Aircraft contract, awarded to Textron's Bell last month. Sikorsky and Boeing’s DEFIANT X proposal was one of two competing finalists for the FLRAA contract, which will eventually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters starting in 2030. The other finalist was Bell’s V-280 Valor, that latter of which uses a tiltrotor design.

Sikorsky is based in Stratford, CT while Bell is based in Fort Worth, TX.

The Army announced on Dec. 5 that it had selected Bell’s proposal for the contract -- worth $232 million for the first 19 months, and up to $1.3 billion total. Army officials said at the time that the service took a “best value approach” in making its decision but gave few other specifics.

Lead contractor Sikorsky, owned by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing filed the protest with the Government Accountability Office on Dec. 28, stating “the data and discussions” led the companies to believe “the proposals were not consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the interest of the Army, our Soldiers and American taxpayers.”

The same day the protest was filed, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a tweet that he would “work to assure immediate attention & favorable consideration of Sikorsky’s challenge.”

“Our nation deserves the best helicopters & Sikorsky’s world class work force can make them,” he wrote.

Additionally, all members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation released a statement on Dec. 29 saying they have yet to receive answers on how the Army made its decision on the FLRAA contract.

"We are hopeful that this protest action and the forthcoming process will shed light on the Army’s decision making, and that the highest level of fidelity is conducted throughout,” they wrote in the statement.

Karolina Wasiniewska, a spokeswoman in Blumenthal’s office, told Inside Defense Thursday that they don’t have any further comments at this time.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who represents the district in which Bell is located, called the Army’s decision in selecting the company “fantastic.” Casey Nelson, a spokeswoman for Jackson’s office, referred Inside Defense on Thursday to a statement Jackson gave to KVII, an Amarillo ABC affiliate, in which he said the “Army conducted a thorough process” making its FLRAA selection.

"I have been intimately involved with all things Future Vertical Lift during my time in Congress and, based on my deep understanding of the mission’s requirements, Bell’s V-280 is the right platform."

The $1.7 trillion omnibus package passed last month by Congress and signed by President Biden includes $698 million for research, development, testing and evaluation for FLRAA -- $5 million more than the Army put in its original request for fiscal year 2023.

Status of program uncertain

According to the Competition in Contracting Act, a program’s performance is automatically suspended when a bid protest is filed, GAO spokesman Chuck Young wrote in an email to Inside Defense on Tuesday. However, an agency can override the stay if “the agency determines that it would be in the best interest of the government,” he wrote.

When Inside Defense asked the Army whether a stay of the contract was in place, David Hylton, a spokesman for the service’s Program Executive Office for Aviation said “due to ongoing litigation,” the office is “unable to discuss or provide additional details relative to the FLRAA program.”

Bell representatives declined to comment on the protest earlier this week, and a Lockheed Martin spokesperson referred questions to the Army.

GAO must issue its decision by April 7 -- 100 days from the date the protest was filed. However, the agency can dismiss protests that are untimely or outside of its jurisdiction within the first 30 days.

There will “definitely be congressional interest” in the protest, according to Gregory Sanders, deputy director and fellow with the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

However, this is also a fairly well-understood process with a set timeline and is not uncommon for major defense programs with intense competition and a winner take all result,” he wrote in a statement to Inside Defense on Friday. “So, this will be disruptive, and there may be hearings, but it’s a different category than executive/legislative budget disagreements that can affect the program for years to come."
 
I have not followed this before but based on past complicated solutions to helicopter replacements I see the Blackhawk beating both of these monstrosities and remaining in production for many years to come along with the Chinook.

Very likely. And I expect a "KingHawk" to replace the Seahawk at some point for the Navy embarked helicopter role. Basically a new aircraft resembling the Seahawk in the same way that the King Stallion resembles the Super Stallion. Same nameplate but blown out to increase usable weight and volume while still fitting in an S-70 compatible hangar.
Sikorsky S-92 was designed to meet a Royal Canadian Navy "Fathawk" requirement. Circa 1983 a group of RCN aircrew toured the Sikorsky factory in Connecticut. They were regaled with detailed descriptions of how SH-60 Seahawk was the best possible replacement for their SH3 Sea King helicopters. Canadian Sea Kings were originally optimized for hunting submarines, but often got tasked with secondary roles like mid-ocean rescue, cross-deckign cargo or hopping the padre between ships on Sunday morning. Towards the end of the tour, a Canadian suggested a "Fathawk" version with a S-61R larger cabin for the RCN's "admiral's barge" ... er ... "mid-ocean rescue" ... er ... "cross-decking the padre on Sunday mornings" roles. Sikorsky officials chuckled and escorted the Canadians to the door.
But circa 1992, Sikorsky announced their S-92 which essentially a larger cabin hung under SH-60 rotors. Early S-92 sales were to the offshore oil industry, but the RCN/RCAF eventually bought S-92s to replace their SH3s ... after a mere 50 years service ...
 
Connecticut lawmakers are supporting bid protest to FLRAA contract

(Inside Defense, Jan. 6, Dan Schere)

Connecticut's congressional delegation is throwing its support behind Sikorsky and Boeing’s protest of the Future Long Range-Assault Aircraft contract, awarded to Textron's Bell last month. Sikorsky and Boeing’s DEFIANT X proposal was one of two competing finalists for the FLRAA contract, which will eventually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters starting in 2030. The other finalist was Bell’s V-280 Valor, that latter of which uses a tiltrotor design.

Sikorsky is based in Stratford, CT while Bell is based in Fort Worth, TX.

The Army announced on Dec. 5 that it had selected Bell’s proposal for the contract -- worth $232 million for the first 19 months, and up to $1.3 billion total. Army officials said at the time that the service took a “best value approach” in making its decision but gave few other specifics.

Lead contractor Sikorsky, owned by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing filed the protest with the Government Accountability Office on Dec. 28, stating “the data and discussions” led the companies to believe “the proposals were not consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the interest of the Army, our Soldiers and American taxpayers.”

The same day the protest was filed, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a tweet that he would “work to assure immediate attention & favorable consideration of Sikorsky’s challenge.”

“Our nation deserves the best helicopters & Sikorsky’s world class work force can make them,” he wrote.

Additionally, all members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation released a statement on Dec. 29 saying they have yet to receive answers on how the Army made its decision on the FLRAA contract.

"We are hopeful that this protest action and the forthcoming process will shed light on the Army’s decision making, and that the highest level of fidelity is conducted throughout,” they wrote in the statement.

Karolina Wasiniewska, a spokeswoman in Blumenthal’s office, told Inside Defense Thursday that they don’t have any further comments at this time.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who represents the district in which Bell is located, called the Army’s decision in selecting the company “fantastic.” Casey Nelson, a spokeswoman for Jackson’s office, referred Inside Defense on Thursday to a statement Jackson gave to KVII, an Amarillo ABC affiliate, in which he said the “Army conducted a thorough process” making its FLRAA selection.

"I have been intimately involved with all things Future Vertical Lift during my time in Congress and, based on my deep understanding of the mission’s requirements, Bell’s V-280 is the right platform."

The $1.7 trillion omnibus package passed last month by Congress and signed by President Biden includes $698 million for research, development, testing and evaluation for FLRAA -- $5 million more than the Army put in its original request for fiscal year 2023.

Status of program uncertain

According to the Competition in Contracting Act, a program’s performance is automatically suspended when a bid protest is filed, GAO spokesman Chuck Young wrote in an email to Inside Defense on Tuesday. However, an agency can override the stay if “the agency determines that it would be in the best interest of the government,” he wrote.

When Inside Defense asked the Army whether a stay of the contract was in place, David Hylton, a spokesman for the service’s Program Executive Office for Aviation said “due to ongoing litigation,” the office is “unable to discuss or provide additional details relative to the FLRAA program.”

Bell representatives declined to comment on the protest earlier this week, and a Lockheed Martin spokesperson referred questions to the Army.

GAO must issue its decision by April 7 -- 100 days from the date the protest was filed. However, the agency can dismiss protests that are untimely or outside of its jurisdiction within the first 30 days.

There will “definitely be congressional interest” in the protest, according to Gregory Sanders, deputy director and fellow with the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

However, this is also a fairly well-understood process with a set timeline and is not uncommon for major defense programs with intense competition and a winner take all result,” he wrote in a statement to Inside Defense on Friday. “So, this will be disruptive, and there may be hearings, but it’s a different category than executive/legislative budget disagreements that can affect the program for years to come."

I would like to see Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin fail in their bid to get the bid overturned, similar to the LRS-B/B-21 Raider program, I still believe that the best team (Bell) won and it is just sour grapes on the part of Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin that they lost.
 
@FighterJock - even though LMCO has received a significant portion of the DoD budget in new contracts in the last couple of months, the potential for ~$70B over the life of the program is too much for the investors to look the other way. The U.S. Army knew this and programmed the time for the protest. Given that they took almost half a year extra to review the decision (and did a remarkable job of keeping it undisclosed) I am hopeful that GAO will find for the government.
 
Connecticut lawmakers are supporting bid protest to FLRAA contract

(Inside Defense, Jan. 6, Dan Schere)

Connecticut's congressional delegation is throwing its support behind Sikorsky and Boeing’s protest of the Future Long Range-Assault Aircraft contract, awarded to Textron's Bell last month. Sikorsky and Boeing’s DEFIANT X proposal was one of two competing finalists for the FLRAA contract, which will eventually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters starting in 2030. The other finalist was Bell’s V-280 Valor, that latter of which uses a tiltrotor design.

Sikorsky is based in Stratford, CT while Bell is based in Fort Worth, TX.

The Army announced on Dec. 5 that it had selected Bell’s proposal for the contract -- worth $232 million for the first 19 months, and up to $1.3 billion total. Army officials said at the time that the service took a “best value approach” in making its decision but gave few other specifics.

Lead contractor Sikorsky, owned by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing filed the protest with the Government Accountability Office on Dec. 28, stating “the data and discussions” led the companies to believe “the proposals were not consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the interest of the Army, our Soldiers and American taxpayers.”

The same day the protest was filed, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a tweet that he would “work to assure immediate attention & favorable consideration of Sikorsky’s challenge.”

“Our nation deserves the best helicopters & Sikorsky’s world class work force can make them,” he wrote.

Additionally, all members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation released a statement on Dec. 29 saying they have yet to receive answers on how the Army made its decision on the FLRAA contract.

"We are hopeful that this protest action and the forthcoming process will shed light on the Army’s decision making, and that the highest level of fidelity is conducted throughout,” they wrote in the statement.

Karolina Wasiniewska, a spokeswoman in Blumenthal’s office, told Inside Defense Thursday that they don’t have any further comments at this time.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who represents the district in which Bell is located, called the Army’s decision in selecting the company “fantastic.” Casey Nelson, a spokeswoman for Jackson’s office, referred Inside Defense on Thursday to a statement Jackson gave to KVII, an Amarillo ABC affiliate, in which he said the “Army conducted a thorough process” making its FLRAA selection.

"I have been intimately involved with all things Future Vertical Lift during my time in Congress and, based on my deep understanding of the mission’s requirements, Bell’s V-280 is the right platform."

The $1.7 trillion omnibus package passed last month by Congress and signed by President Biden includes $698 million for research, development, testing and evaluation for FLRAA -- $5 million more than the Army put in its original request for fiscal year 2023.

Status of program uncertain

According to the Competition in Contracting Act, a program’s performance is automatically suspended when a bid protest is filed, GAO spokesman Chuck Young wrote in an email to Inside Defense on Tuesday. However, an agency can override the stay if “the agency determines that it would be in the best interest of the government,” he wrote.

When Inside Defense asked the Army whether a stay of the contract was in place, David Hylton, a spokesman for the service’s Program Executive Office for Aviation said “due to ongoing litigation,” the office is “unable to discuss or provide additional details relative to the FLRAA program.”

Bell representatives declined to comment on the protest earlier this week, and a Lockheed Martin spokesperson referred questions to the Army.

GAO must issue its decision by April 7 -- 100 days from the date the protest was filed. However, the agency can dismiss protests that are untimely or outside of its jurisdiction within the first 30 days.

There will “definitely be congressional interest” in the protest, according to Gregory Sanders, deputy director and fellow with the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

However, this is also a fairly well-understood process with a set timeline and is not uncommon for major defense programs with intense competition and a winner take all result,” he wrote in a statement to Inside Defense on Friday. “So, this will be disruptive, and there may be hearings, but it’s a different category than executive/legislative budget disagreements that can affect the program for years to come."

I would like to see Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin fail in their bid to get the bid overturned, similar to the LRS-B/B-21 Raider program, I still believe that the best team (Bell) won and it is just sour grapes on the part of Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin that they lost.
Agreed!
But those sore losers are still willing to waste millions of dollars on lawyers only to have a judge eventually decide that they are losers.
Please note that I am referring to corporate heads as "losers."
Judging from test flights, it looks like both corporations employed teams of competent engineers who flew two different solutions to the same problem.
 
it's not being a sore loser. not perfect example but it's like buying lottery ticket. your chance of winning is extremely small, but it's offset by the fact that you paying next to nothing for the chance of winning everything no matter how small the chance.
 
I am referring to the size of the cabin vs the size of the aircraft. I think it spokes pretty well by itself on those drawings.
Looks like Bell Valor has a longer, slimmer cabin while Sikorsky Defiant has a shorter, wider cabin. As long (excuse the pun) as both cabin will quickly accept standard loads (e.g. wounded on a stretcher) the Valor will load and unload quicker .... an important factor on LZs swept by "bad-guy" machinegun fire.
 
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That Forbes article is interesting...
It appears plausible to me that in the beginning (JMR) the Army was rather focused on a fast helicopter, but as the program moved on more data was available, and it became more and more apparent that they actually want a tiltrotor (long range) that isn't compromised in maneuverability and hovering capability (low disc loading).
 
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Predetermined outcome. Lockheed believes that the Army strongly favored a tiltrotor over a conventional helicopter, and that this preference was readily apparent in the first draft solicitation. The draft was subsequently revised to mute that preference, but the final RfP retained enough latitude for subjectivities to bias the process in favor of the predetermined outcome.
(From Forbes)

Lockheed believes that the Army had a strong bias to the tiltrotor - yet Lockheed (Sikorsky) either took no steps or was technically incapable of designing and submitting one compliant with the customer's needs and desires.

This is the Army's fault?
 
@aim9xray : you nailed it perfectly.

This is what I wrote before reading you:
Well, that's why you have RFI: it's the industry that has engineers and scientists. Sikorsky is now claiming that they should be considered as a tiers 1 contractor for the Services. I fear that some of them (those that pushed for this protest) are lost

I fear also that it's gonna be a popular joke among us.

"You are subjectivizing in a delusional world!
...
@admin: this is too much subjectivation
...
Subjective yourself!"

Obviously, I should report myself for this blattent lack of subjectivity.
 
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"...Lockheed believes that the Army strongly favored a tiltrotor over a conventional helicopter, and that this preference was readily apparent in the first draft solicitation..."

Defiant is per definition no conventional helicopter :p
 

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