FVL, the future helicopter of the US Army

JMR-AVX_AircraftIt enters into service in the mid-2030s. The future helicopter of the US army should replace not less than 4 devices present. The device that will be selected will be the successor of devices as diverse as the Black Hawk, Apache, Chinook and the small Kiowa. A serious industrial challenge that could well turn to the sinking if we take the example of the F-35 program. The US Army is looking to reduce risk by adopting a new project management, but also a new way to develop the software of the future helicopter to do everything.

A program that must not repeat the mistakes of the F-35

Launched in the 1990s, the F-35 fighter aircraft program was designed to respond to the expectations of the US Air Force, marine, Navy, Royal Navy. Result, a program that has now reached the $ 400 billion, with a budget of 70% passing. A disaster financial and technical as the aircraft is unable to achieve the performance for which he was commissioned and it still can not enter into service in the State.

The Sikorsky - Boeing SB - 1 Defiant, one of the two candidates still in the FVL program.

The Sikorsky – Boeing SB – 1 Defiant, one of the two candidates still in the FVL program.

With a specification for the less adversarial, the unit to replace the combat helicopter Apache, Black Hawk, Chinook heavy-medium transport helicopter and helicopter reconnaissance Kiowa program Future Vertical Lift (FVL) seems to take the same path. However the U.S. military seeks to not repeat the same mistakes. One of the ideas raised by the experts from the Pentagon would cut the program in multiple mini-easier to manage programs, and especially whose budgets will be easier to negotiate with Congress. Another track, go digging among industrialists of existing parts, and components including civilian aircraft and maximize the number of organs common between the different versions of the FVL. A pitfall to this approach, the ‘Buy America’. EADS has already pulled out of the program because the European would “offer” to the Pentagon its intellectual property on his aircraft in the event of victory.

Standardized hardware and software developed in “Model based” to arrive in time

Direct descendant of the Bell Boeing V-22, the V-280

Direct descendant of the Bell Boeing V-22, the V-280 “Valor” spent the first selection of the FVL program.

Succeed-such U.S. Army to not see bogged down the program as was the case with the F-35, nothing is less certain. Nevertheless, the Pentagon considers to contain costs through parts standardized with respect to software developments, source of extra time without purposes for the F-35, is on the “Model based” developments, so the automatic code generation that the army set to arrive in time.

The FVL program will demonstrate or not, if this approach is the right to deal with the explosion of costs and divergences of major military programs.
Translation : Bing Translator

Source :

“Future Vertical Lift Begins Open Software Quest”, Breaking Defense, November 19, 2014

“Flawed F-35 Fighter Too Big to Kill as Lockheed Hooks 45 States”, Bloomberg, February 22, 2013


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