The United States Army has made significant strides in a project that will debut designs for a new generation of rotor-craft.
Funding for the project will be submitted for the 2017 fiscal year, under the Future Vertical Lift project. It is one of sixteen that was submitted to the United States government earlier this month, and is currently pending approval.
Certainly from industry’s perspective, it’s a good step,” says Patrick Donnelly, director of Boeing company future vertical lift. “Up until now, industry has been investing heavily and the fact they’re establishing a budget line is giving some excitement and relief to industry that this plan is going forward. There’s still a long way to go before it becomes a production program, but this is certainly a very promising first step.
If this proposal gets approved by congress, it could mean a complete overhaul of the Army’s fleet. Some of the aircraft that may be replaced are the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. Details are still unclear as to what will happen, since there are five different mission sets that are part of FVL. Once it goes through the approval process, there will be a better understanding of what they are intent on developing.
[FVL] is going to be one of the largest programs we undertake (in the Office of the Secretary of Defense) minus the F-35 when you talk about the sheer number of aircraft we’re going to be replacing,” said Major General Michael Lundy, commander of the US Army aviation center of excellence.
“It’s going to continue to get a lot of visibility and right now the support’s pretty good. We have looked at our future investment strategies and FVL is affordable. As long as the budget doesn’t get any worse.
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