Northrop, AgustaWestland to skip US rescue helicopter contest

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:17am EST

WASHINGTON Dec 11 (Reuters) - Northrop Grumman Corp and Italy's Finmeccanica SpA have decided not to bid for a multibillion dollar contract to build 112 new combat search and rescue helicopters for the U.S. Air Force, Northrop said on Tuesday.

Northrop, which teamed up with Finmeccanica's AgustaWestland in September to bid for the rescue helicopter contract and a separate U.S. Navy competition for a new presidential helicopter, said the decision would not affect the team's pursuit of the second program.

Northrop spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell-Jones said the two companies decided to skip the Air Force competition after a thorough analysis of the service's final request for proposals, or RFP, which was published in October. Bids are due Jan. 3.

"We've reached this conclusion based on an extensive evaluation of customer requirements under the current RFP," Mitchell-Jones said in a statement.

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