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Airbus Pitched All-New ‘UH-X’ for Japan, and Hasn’t Given Up

By Staff Writer | September 21, 2015
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Airbus Helicopters offered an all-new design for Japan’s new utility military helicopter—not one based on its H160—and hasn’t given up on taking over development of that 150-aircraft program, CEO Guillaume Faury told the media today. Japan picked Fuji Heavy Industries and Bell Helicopter July 17 to develop a UH-1 replacement for its Ground Self-Defense Force, rejecting Airbus’ bid with Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Those companies (which collaborate on H145 production) proposed an 8,000 lb to 11,000 lb aircraft “which is an all-new platform and is not based on any already existing helicopter,” Faury said. Correcting media reports following the contract award, he said the Airbus-Kawasaki bid “was not based on the H160, was not a derivative of the H160.” He said the proposed helicopter would be designed for the UH-X requirements and “for commercial applications all over the world.” Regarding the UH-X work, Faury said, “I don’t give up, because I believe we had the right approach and the right offer.” Going from competition of proposals to execution of contracts “might be challenging and I want to believe that we can convince the military of Japan to reconsider what we have offered in terms of operational capabilities, cost of operation and the opportunity for the Japanese industry to continue to be part of the helicopter industry around the world.”

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