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Fort Worth, Texas-based AVX Aircraft is the mysterious fourth team to win a $4 million contract from the U.S. Army to study concepts for the Joint Multi Role (JMR) medium replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk.Concept: AVX AircraftAVX, staffed largely by former Bell Helicopter employees, is best known for its proposal to meet the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout requirement by upgrading its OH-58D/F Kiowa Warriors with coaxial rotors and ducted fans, which would replace the tail rotor and provide both control and propulsion.AVX is still pursuing the OH-58 upgrade, and working to corral funds from industry partners and private investors to build a demonstrator, but the JMR contract is the first time it finds itself head-to-head against the big players. Three other 18-month configuration analysis and trade study contracts have been awarded by the Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate: to Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky.Under the cost-sharing contracts, the companies will identify and prioritize technologies to meet the Army's desired attributes (which include a speed of at least 200kt), and develop concepts for both an objective JMR medium rotorcraft that could enter service in 2025-30 and a technology demonstrator that could fly in 2017.
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