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The Armed Aerial Scout programme replaces the previous Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter programme. An analysis of alternatives is underway and a Request for Proposals is planned to be issued in 2014. The U.S. Army had until December 2012 to decide whether to proceed with the
programme. Army officials decided to proceed with the Armed Aerial Scout program to acquire a new scout helicopter. In January 2013, the Army began redrafting the presentation before they decide move ahead with a competition w/ request for more data from the voluntary flight demonstrations done on helicopter entries, as well as taking into account the pace of other technologies, such as unmanned capabilities and future sensors.
The Army has concluded that its decision for the AAS program will result in either
a new development effort or a service life-extension program (SLEP) for the OH-58F Kiowa. Evaluations of commercial off-the-shelf designs were made from voluntary flight demonstrations in 2012. The five candidates included the OH-58 Block II, AH6i, AAS-72X/X+, MD 540F and AW139M used for demonstration, with AW169 AAS offered as a candidate. The Sikorsky S-97 Raider was offered, but no prototype was available for demonstration.
Army evaluations concluded that no current aircraft met requirements. A decision on the Armed Aerial Scout program is expected in 2013. Boeing had attempted to stop MD Helicopters from offering its MD 540F in the programme, since it shared the same airframe design as Boeing's AH-6. In July 2013, MD Helicopters was allowed to continue to promote its offering in the programmme