On Thursday, Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced that it is teaming up with United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) subsidiary Sikorsky to field a variant of Sikorsky's X2 rotorcraft helicopter (which features counter-rotating coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller), for the Army's new Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) Phase 1 program.
JMR TD is the Army's acronym for its next generation series of medium transport and attack helicopters, now being designed. In a statement, Sikorsky boasted that its offering will offer the Army "a 100-knot improvement in speed, a 60 percent improvement in combat radius, and 50 percent better high-hot hover performance" over current helicopters.
Bids on Phase 1 of JMR TD are due in at the Army March 6. So far, potential competitors to the Boeing/Sikorsky team are expected to include Textron (NYSE:TXT), which may offer a variant of its V-22 Osprey; EADS, with the U-72A Lakota; and AgustaWestland (although that firm may be a bit distracted by the bribery scandal in India). Winning bids will be announced late this year, with the winners expected to deliver one or more demonstrator aircraft by 2017.
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Textron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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