WASHINGTON Nov 22 Sikorsky Aircraft Co, a unit
of United Technologies Corp, will be awarded a contract
to supply the U.S. Air Force's combat rescue helicopter (CRH)
program, but only if funding survives the military budget axe.
"The award is contingent on the outcome of the president's
budget review process, where CRH would need to be funded across
the future year's defense program," Air Force spokeswoman Erika
Yepsen said in a statement.
Top Air Force officials have said recently that the CRH
program is not among the service's highest priorities at a time
of tightening budgets.
Only one offer was received for the military's proposal.
Sikorsky "provided an acceptable technical solution and we
intend to award a contract based upon budget availability,"
The combat search and rescue helicopter contract could be
valued at up to $6.8 billion.
The Air Force has been trying to replace its aging fleet of
Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters for many years.
In 2006, it picked Boeing's H-47 Chinook helicopter,
but the Pentagon canceled the $15 billion contract in 2009 after
multiple protests by the losing bidders.