Congress Adds to FVL FY20 Funding

US Capitol BuildingThe US Senate Committee on Appropriations (SAC) on Sept. 12, 2019 approved its FY2020 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The funding bill includes $694.9B, an increase of $20.5B above the FY2019 enacted level. 

The SAC press release announcing the approval noted that the act: 

Recommends $447.9 million for Future Vertical Lift, including an additional $75.6 million to accelerate the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft

The Vertical Flight Society has been conducting advocacy on Capitol Hill for over a decade in support of advanced rotorcraft under the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, which includes the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). This year, again working with the Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC), we have continued our highly successful educational and advocacy campaign on Capitol Hill, and made a recommendation for an additional $40M above the President's Budget Request (PBR) for FLRAA. A total of $145M has been added to FVL above the PBR, largely as a result of our efforts, since FY2015. 

House of Representatives Support

Each chamber of the US Congress — controlled by a different political party — passed their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 before the August recesses. Meanwhile, the House passed a “minibus” appropriations bill in June that included the Department of Defense. The two chambers agreed to raise the budget caps and President Donald J. Trump signed the two-year budget deal on Aug. 2; this was the primary stumbling block for Senate appropriators to move forward.  

The House of Representatives Defense Appropriations Subcommittee (HAC-D) took the following actions on DoD research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) accounts that most closely affect FVL:

  • Army RDT&E Line 17, FVL Technology: $96.6M, including $3M added for flight control technology
  • Army RDT&E Line 64, FVL Advanced Technology: $167.64M, including a total of $16M added for four projects
  • Army RDT&E Line 84, Aviation Advanced Technology: $475.29M, including $16M added for the Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA)
  • Navy RDT&E Line 97, Other Helo Development: $31.81M, including $5M added for attack and utility helicopter replacement

Additional Information

The full Senate must approve the SAC bill, followed by reconcilliation with the House Appropriations bill, and then the final resulting bill signed by the President to be enacted. 

For more on the Society’s successful advocacy efforts, see on the JMR/FVL efforts and about how VFS-VLC has supported the initiation and furtherance of FVL is available at

VFS and VLC will continue to work with our partners and our representatives in the US Congress to support robust funding of Future Vertical Lift in the coming years. 

Posted 2019-09-12