Future Trends

US Army Looking to Speed Up FTUAS Program

US Army

US Army Looking to Speed Up FTUAS Program

The Army has issued a request for information to find out whether it can speed up the delivery of the new Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System.

Col. Scott Anderson, the Army’s UAS project manager, told reporters that there have been positive responses to the RFI, with 23 industry partners already giving feedback.

The Army recently concluded FTUAS field tests at Fort Benning, where attending officers and troops evaluated four drones that are being considered to replace the aging RQ-7 Shadow, Breaking Defense reported Monday.

The four contenders–the Martin V-BAT, the Arcturus Jump 20, the L3Harris FVR-90 and the Textron/AAI Aerosonde HQ–were lauded for their ability to operate amid the rainy weather conditions that persisted at the testing grounds.

Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, director of Future Vertical Lift at Army Futures Command, was impressed by the prototypes’ performance, noting that the current RQ-7 Shadow would not have been able to fly in the rain.

Anderson said there appears to be a consensus among all soldiers involved that the FTUAS program is moving in the right direction.

With the conclusion of the field tests, the Army is preparing to move along with the delivery of the FTUAS capability. According to Anderson, the service is expected to approve a formal requirements document for FTUAS in July.

In addition to the FTUAS, the Army is making progress with other high-tech aircraft included in the FVL portfolio.

A draft system performance specification for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft is set to be released soon while a final request for proposal for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft is scheduled for release in the summer.

Category: Future Trends