JMR-FVL: Army Casts Dice for Future Helicopters
February 17/16: A new start project listed for Fiscal Year 2017 will see the US Army look for rotor-craft designs to fund the next-generation of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) helicopters. If approved by Congress, FVL could initially produce mid-weight replacements for the long-serving Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache types. The news comes as both Boeing-Sikorsky and Bell Helicopters are developing their own next-gen FVL contributions which aim to have their first flights by the end of 2017. The Boeing-Sikorsky offering, the SB-1 Defiant compound coaxial helicopter has been developed as a precursor FLV under the Army’s Joint MultiRole (JMR) technology demonstration, while Bell is offering its V-280 Valor tiltrotor .
The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s estimated $100 billion Future Vertical Lift program, which is expected to replace between 2,000-4,000 medium class UH-60 utility and AH-64 attack helicopters after 2030.
In reality, FVL will fall far short of that number if it ever goes ahead, but those figures are the current official fantasy. While they’re at it, the Pentagon wants breakthrough performance that includes the same hovering capability as smaller armed scout helicopters, and a 100+ knot improvement in cruising speed to 230+ knots. That’s almost certainly achievable, thanks to new developments that involve very different helicopter designs.
The JMR-TD Precursor Program
JMR-TD Phase 1: The Finalists
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2005 – 2012
Background: JMR-FVL Program & Contenders
News & Views
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