Wednesday, May 08, 2019

USMC plans to piggyback on the US Army-run FLRAA programme

via Flight Global.
US Marine Corps (USMC) Lieutenant General Steven Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation, is confident that a tiltrotor can meet the service’s minimum cruise speed goal of 270kt (500km/h) for its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

The USMC plans to piggyback on the US Army-run FLRAA programme, though it wants a next-generation utility rotorcraft with even more capability than the US Army is asking, in particular the ability to cruise at least 270kt, which is the cruise speed of the Bell Boeing V-22.

Such a desire appears to give an advantage to Bell’s tiltrotor, the V-280 Valor, which has reached a top speed of 300kt. Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor has a maximum cruise speed of 275kt, though the Italian company is limited in its ability to add armaments to the aircraft due to a licensing agreement with Bell who supplied the initial intellectual property for the project.
Story here. 

Wow.  I wonder.  What exactly does piggy back mean in this case?  Could we be looking at another F-16 vs F-17 type deal where the winner of one services competition is not chosen and the competitor picked?

If its a truly joint program then the USMC is seriously putting its finger on the scale.

I'm bit puzzled.  The UH-1Z is rather new.  The Corps has stated that they're sticking with the MV-22 and plan new upgrades to it.

So where does this aircraft fit into the scheme of things?  Even if you tag it for long range escort of MV-22s, it was my understanding the the MUX being developed was suppose to fill that role.

I await your answers cause this one has me spinning (ashamed to say).

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