March 1, 2021

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U.S. Special Operations Command pursuing ‘limited competition’ for MH-6 Little Bird upgrade

The U.S. Special Operations Command eyes limited competition between Fulcrum Concepts and CFD International for a replacement Light Weight Plank Systems (LWPS) for use on the A/MH-6M helicopters.

As noted by the U.S. government’s main contracting website, Special Operations Command is looking for a contractor for procurement LWPS in one five-year ordering period.

The LWPS designed and produced for the AH-6 and MH-6 Little Bird helicopters. It utilizes a unique modular concept to quickly configure aircraft for armed or unarmed missions.

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The plank systems extend across the middle fuselage compartment providing mounting points for the weapons and ammunition cans. Other components are located on a separate pallet to maximize space within the crew compartment.

The LWPS lank is easily installed and removed with quick-release pins. The weapon system can be configured using an array of weapons, but its primary weapon system configuration includes pintle-mounted GAU-19/A 12.7mm Gatling guns and pylons for missiles.

A/MH-6M is a special operations forces-unique helicopter developed in close collaboration with special operations forces operators and combat developers.

Originally based on a modified OH-6A, it was later based on the MD 500E, with a single five-bladed main rotor. The newest version, the MH-6M, is based on the MD 530F and has a single, six-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.

Photo courtesy of SOF AT&L