Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., intends to issue a definitive, commercial contract on a sole source basis to Bell Helicopter of Hurst, Texas, for the production and delivery of two Bell 407 analog helicopters with an option to buy three Bell 407 digital (GX) and/or analog helicopters as available. “This Bell 407 helicopter procurement will support production of the MQ-8C Fire Scout Endurance Upgrade Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS),” the Navy said in contract documents released Friday.
The Bell 407 helicopter was selected by Northrop Grumman Corp. for inclusion in the MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS design. “It is the only known system configuration that meets the minimum requirements for production of the MQ-8C Fire Scout,” the Navy said. “Bell Helicopter is the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the commercial Bell 407 helicopter and the only known supplier of the air vehicle.”