U.S. Army accelerates its future long-range assault aircraft program
The U.S. Army has approved a draft, “abbreviated” capabilities development document for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA, intended to support the service branch’s Future Vertical Lift program.
The DefenseNews confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) approved aircraft program’s draft capabilities development document.
A global magazine about business and technology of defense, DefenseNews, quoting Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen in charge of the service’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) modernization efforts, reported the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) has passed through the gauntlet of the AROC.
The FLRAA is a pre-Major Defense Acquisition Program commissioned to develop and field the next generation of affordable vertical lift utility aircraft to the Army. New aircraft, developed under Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program, to replace some Army’s AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
According to FlightGlobal, the US Army wants each aircraft to have an average unit manufacturing cost of $43 million. That’s significantly more than the average unit cost of its current asset, the UH-60M, for which the service paid about $20 million a unit on average in FY2019.
The FLRAA helicopter should be equipped with two turboshaft engines, created by General Electric Corporation under the program of the U.S. Army Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) and having a take-off power of more than 5000 hp.
For the FLRAA program, the Army team expects to award two vendors next year to create competitive prototypes that will perform a government-sponsored fly-off in 2023, Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, the team’s director, said in March.
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