AHS Supports Future Vertical Lift CFT at AUSA Symposium

Hirschberg @ AUSA 2018AHS participated in the 2018 AUSA Global Force Symposium (GFS) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) panel discussion, held March 27, 2018, in Huntsville, Alabama. FVL was named in October 2017 as one of the top six modernization priorities for the US Army, with a dedicated Cross-Functional Team (CFT) lead, BG Wally Rugen. 

AHS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg delivered frank perspectives on FVL as part of this Army senior panel discussion, particularly highlighting:
  • The US rotorcraft industry is "all in" and "leaning forward"
  • The science & technology community is fully committed to FVL
  • Industry-govt collaboration is paramount, but restrictions on participation in events like the Society’s Annual Forum inhibit collaboration
  • The vertical flight technology base can deliver on FVL, but needs stable requirements.

A video of the panel discussion [length: 1:41:25] was provided by the Army Office of Public Affairs.

transcription (pdf) was made by AHS — The Vertical Flight Society.

FVL CFT Panel was comprised of:

  • Senior Mentor: Gen. James C. McConville, US Army, Vice Chief of Staff
  • Panel Moderator: William N. Phillips (Lt. Gen. US Army Retired), VP, The Boeing Company
  • Brig. Gen. Walter T. “Wally” Rugen, Deputy Commanding General 7th Infantry Division and Director, Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team
  • Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Todd, III, US Army, Program Executive Officer Aviation
  • Jeffrey A. Drezner, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Michael J. Hirschberg, Executive Director, AHS — The Vertical Flight Society
  • Gerry Graves, Ph.D., Managing Director, Vertical Lift Consortium 

During the panel, Rugen expanded on the Army’s plans for FVL and cited four “lines of effort”:

  • Advanced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Rugen says the Army wants multiple aircraft sizes and types for different missions for its Future UAS architecture (see “Unmanned Vertical Wingman, Vertiflite, Sept/Oct 2017): “we’re looking for key attributes that can allow us to dominate in contested airspace and IADS. So low observable, survivable, or if they’re inexpensive throw-away, swarming, runway independent, and the ability to deliver targeting for long range precision fires at operational and tactical distances. Also, nonlethal effects, so think electronic attack. We want to be able to stimulate, allow the enemy in a contested airspace to turn on their radars. We want to be able to spoof those radars, jam those radars, hunt those radars, and kill those radars.”
  • Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA): This is what the Army wants for its FVL Capability Set 1: “we want it sized to hide in radar clutter. Also, sized to operate in the urban canyons of mega-cities. It needs to be a clean sheet design, optionally manned, so a lot of autonomy baked into this future aircraft, with improved reach and survivability. These two [FARA and the advanced UAS] will form our advanced team. This advanced team needs to deepen the inner operability between our ground force and fires team to be able to detect and deliver lethal effects, assess those effects, and reattack if need be.”
  • Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA): This aircraft needs speed, range, endurance and agility to perform missions under FVL Capability Set 3: “It needs to have significant increased protection, operate from sanctuary, and just be something that exploits our windows of opportunity.”
  • Open Systems: “we want an architecture that is both open and resilient, government-designed and defined specs that you, as industry teammates, plug into so we can shorten our typical five to seven years upgrade into something much shorter.”

AHS advocates for issues of importance to vertical flight and has been very successful over the past quarter century in championing the advancement of rotorcraft technology. AHS has a proud legacy of advocacy work leading up to the establishment of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative and the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstration program. AHS has created a microsite to provide in-depth resources to those who wish to know more about FVL: www.vtol.org/FVL

Posted 2018-03-28; updated 2018-07-16