- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The iconic UH-60 Black Hawk’s service in the U.S. Army is one step closer to completion.

Military officials are on the cusp of replacing the long-range assault aircraft after narrowing their options down to Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor and Boeing and Sikorsky’s SB>1 Defiant.

Task and Purpose covered reactions to the news on Tuesday.

“These agreements are an important milestone for [Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program],” Army aviation program executive officer Patrick Mason said in a statement on Monday. “The CD&RR continues to transition technologies from the JMR-TD effort to the FLRAA weapons system design.”

The goal of the program is to replace the fleet of Black Hawks — and possibly AH-64 Apaches — by 2030, the defense website noted.

Keith Flail, Bell vice president for advanced vertical lift systems, released a statement saying the company was “honored” to be in the final running.

“We can provide transformative capabilities to our Army in line with their stated goal of 2030,” he added.

A statement by Boeing and Sikorsky stressed its offering’s ability to “extend the warfighter’s capabilities on the modern battlefield [while fitting] the same footprint as a Black Hawk,” Task and Purpose reported.

Head-to-head competition between the two aircraft is scheduled for 2022, Defense News reported Tuesday.

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