Boeing, Bell Helicopter also opting out of U.S. Air Force contest

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 2:16 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Tuesday it would not submit bids based on its H-47 helicopter or the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft built with Textron Inc's Bell Helicopter unit for a U.S. Air Force competition for 112 new combat rescue helicopters.

Boeing spokesman Damien Mills said the H-47 Chinook and the V-22 "Osprey" had been proven to be the world's most capable and cost-effective search and rescue aircraft, but their capabilities exceeded the parameters of the Air Force contest.

"While the Chinook and Osprey exceed the parameters of the USAF's Combat Rescue Helicopter program, they are often the go-to aircraft for the U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force Special Operations Command when needing to extract personnel from dangerous situations," Mills said.

He said the two aircraft had been used to save lives in conditions where other aircraft could not operate.

Boeing's decision follows a similar announcement by Northrop Grumman Corp earlier Tuesday.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa)