Tuesday, March 12, 2019

US Army just saved the Defiant and V-280..

via RotorAndWing.
The Pentagon FY 2020 budget request includes about $790 million for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) research and development. That includes about $94 million for FVL technology under basic research and $152 million for FVL advanced technology.
The Army's significant budget request for FVL may allay the fears of some in industry about sustaining the Joint Multirole Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD) program in which the Bell V-280 Valor is competing against the Boeing-Sikorsky built SB-1 Defiant. JMR-TD is scheduled to end this year. Industry and DoD have funded the demonstrator aircraft at a 2-to-one ratio, and there has been some concern among industry observers about whether proposed Army funding levels in FY 2020 will be sufficient to move the program forward.

The DoD budget also includes nearly $1.7 billion for 73 U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters by Sikorsky, as well as 25 cockpit kits to upgrade UH-60Ls to UH-60Vs--in all, a $225 million increase from the FY 2019 enacted level for the UH-60 program. The budget proposal also includes nearly $358 million for nine Army MH-47Gs by Boeing--$73 million more than the FY 2019 funded level for the Chinook program, which includes CH-47F transports and the MH-47G special operations rotor craft.

The proposed increase for the latter includes $25 million in the Overseas Contingency Operations fund to replace one MH-47G lost in combat. OCO funds are not subject to budget caps.

The Pentagon said that the CH-47F is expected to remain the Army’s heavy lift helicopter until the late 2030s and that the MH-47G version is a must to extend the service life of the MH-47 fleet. The Chinook Improved Cargo Helicopter program for the CH-47F and MH-47G includes an upgraded digital cockpit and modifications to the airframe to reduce vibration.

The Army budget request also includes $1 billion for 48 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters by Boeing--$463 million less and 18 airframes fewer than funded in FY 2019.
Story here. 

Wow.  Two quick takes.  The FVL program is at least a bit safe, the Army is buying 48 attack helicopters vs 6 CH-53Ks (and for half a billion less) and additionally the OCO budget is a slush fund that should be slashed  eliminated immediately!

Other than that...pretty good news.

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