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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bell, Boeing/Sikorsky Given the Verdict to Move Ahead on JMR TD

By International Bureau Chief Andrew Drwiega

Today's announcement that the U.S. Army Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) has selected both the Boeing/Sikorsky partnership and Bell Helicopter to move forward and build their versions of the high speed Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) comes as no surprise.

It does leave question marks over the other two competitors, AVX Aircraft headed by Troy Gaffey and Karem Aircraft under the guidance of Abe Karem. Will they have a role going forward? It is unlikely that this will be the end of the road for them, but how does the Department of Defense (DoD) now shoehorn companies with limited resources into the 'Grand Plan' of moving towards the overall objective of developing a rotorcraft that could be the US Army's Future Vertical Lift platform of choice by the mid 2030s? Will they be asked to work with / team with the winners, or used in some other way?

After missing the announcement deadline expected in July, this news has leapt out perhaps before everyone concerned had their 'ducks in a row.' The suggestion is that all parties will still be brought together by the end of August or early September when presumably a more structured vision of the way forward will be shared.

Related: DoD News

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