Military Embedded Systems

Sikorsky, Boeing protest U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft award to Bell


December 29, 2022

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy Team DEFIANT

ARLINGTON, Virginia. Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and Boeing have filed a formal protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the U.S. Army's decision to award the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) contract to Textron's Bell Helicopter, Boeing announced in a statement.

The Sikorsky/Boeing team, called Team DEFIANT, is filing the protest jointly.

"The data and discussions lead us 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 statement reads. "The critical importance of the FLRAA mission to the Army and our nation requires the most capable, affordable and lowest-risk solution. We remain confident DEFIANT X is the transformational aircraft the Army requires to accomplish its complex missions today and well into the future."

The Army chose Bell's V-280 Valor over the Sikorsky/Boeing Defiant X helicopter design about a month ago. The GAO must review the protest and make a ruling within 100 days, which could include dismissing the protest or having the Army reevaluate the bids.

It is not uncommon for the losing party in a competition for a major new defense contract to file a protest. It is also not uncommon for the GAO to sustain such protests -- in fiscal 2022, GAO sustained 13% of protests.

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