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JMR (Joint Multi-Role) & FVL (Future Vertical Lift) Programs

yasotay

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As an old Cobra guy, I can't not like its lines. A little taken back with needing for a "SPU" to get the power. Leaves me less impressed with the shiny new T901 engine ... or the weight of the Invictus.
 

seruriermarshal

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TomcatViP

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As an old Cobra guy, I can't not like its lines. A little taken back with needing for a "SPU" to get the power. Leaves me less impressed with the shiny new T901 engine ... or the weight of the Invictus.
Probably to keep sfc down and meet easily range requirement. Add to that the added discretion of having to burn less fuel when trying to sneak somewhere (less noise) .
 
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sferrin

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Now that's intersting...
I love Advanced AH-64 more
No reason there can't be both.
I'm afraid there are no money for them two .
Says who? Last I heard pretty much the entire AH-64 fleet is being remanufacture to the E model. Who's to say the advanced model couldn't be the "F" model after that? No need to have them both in rate production at the same time.
 
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yasotay

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AH-64 will be around for a long time. I would expect at least one more major revision.

I read that the Army went with the standard 4K95, vice 6K95 they had talked in JMR. Fiscal reality setting in?
 
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Sundog

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You can take the Bell 360 for a spin here. As in, they have where you can rotate it 360 degrees in the horizontal plane to get a good look at it. Of course, having said that, I'm guessing the 360 is a reference to what they think is the great SA the crew would have in the vehicle?
 

VTOLicious

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It will be interesting to see how Sikorsky's FARA design will finally look like...
"Because the Army has reduced its speed requirement, Sikorsky’s FARA design will be “detuned” relative to the Raider, but will still have more growth potential than a single-rotor helicopter already at the limits of its capability at 180 kt, says Malia. With a larger, 39-ft.-dia. rotor system, a higher, 14,000-lb. gross weight and a single, 3,000-shp General Electric T901 Improved Turbine Engine, the FARA will be slower than the Raider, he says. There will be other changes. The fuselage will be stretched to accommodate two 80-in. long internal bays for weapons, air-launched unmanned aircraft and other mission payloads. There will be no external stores on FARA, Malia says, and these bays will essentially replace the Raider’s passenger cabin."
 

Desertfox

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That's a good looking Bell helo, but why the single engine? Is it an Army requirement? I'm sure there's going to be a need for a Cobra replacement in the future as well, and the Marines like their twin engines.
 

TomS

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That's a good looking Bell helo, but why the single engine? Is it an Army requirement? I'm sure there's going to be a need for a Cobra replacement in the future as well, and the Marines like their twin engines.
Probably a function of cost targets and the performance of modern turboshafts. One engine can deliver the power they need and two smaller ones would cost significantly more.
 

TomcatViP

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And with their special power unit they have a degree of safety in case of engine damage.
 

AeroFranz

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And with their special power unit they have a degree of safety in case of engine damage.
Does anyone know what this SPU might be? I'm guessing an APU that can also supplement the propulsion system?
Anyway, the SPU is probably significantly smaller than the main engine, otherwise it makes more sense to go with two identical engines. You may not be able to optimize for SFC by shutting down the SPU, but historically the cost and all the "-ilities" favor engine commonality.
 

TomcatViP

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We will have to wait for them to lift the veil.
I am sure that their innovation is dual market.
I would be looking at their latest concept with electrically generated torque rotor to get a clue.
 

yasotay

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And with their special power unit they have a degree of safety in case of engine damage.
Does anyone know what this SPU might be? I'm guessing an APU that can also supplement the propulsion system?
Anyway, the SPU is probably significantly smaller than the main engine, otherwise it makes more sense to go with two identical engines. You may not be able to optimize for SFC by shutting down the SPU, but historically the cost and all the "-ilities" favor engine commonality.
Army mandated single T-901 engine as a KPP. I suspect that they had to go with a "big APU" to meet some of the other KPP - like going faster.
 

fightingirish

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Some more pictures, even a four-view. :cool:
Sources:
 

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bobbymike

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I like the look. I’d be looking for robust and maintainable with a very large production run
 

Moose

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It really does have a "Cobra II" kinda look in that head-on view.
 

FighterJock

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I too like the look of the Bell 360, a modern take on the Comanche design with a single engine.
 

Hood

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I really like the looks of the Bell 360 but I can't see it winning. Had they stuck some massive contra-rotating propellers on it they might have stood a chance.
 

RavenOne

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Now that's intersting...
I love Advanced AH-64 more
No reason there can't be both.
I'm afraid there are no money for them two .
Says who? Last I heard pretty much the entire AH-64 fleet is being remanufacture to the E model. Who's to say the advanced model couldn't be the "F" model after that? No need to have them both in rate production at the same time.
Boeing announced there there would not be an F model after the E....

 

sferrin

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I guess we'll never see that sweet looking Apache then. :( (Unless it becomes the FVL.)
 

FighterJock

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So the AH-64E will be the last variant of the Apache (the best attack helicopter on the planet), it's replacement will have some very big shoes to fill.
 

yasotay

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So the AH-64E will be the last variant of the Apache (the best attack helicopter on the planet), it's replacement will have some very big shoes to fill.
Until the Army changes it's mind. I would not be surprised to see Congressional testimony in 3 to 5 years where someone with lots of stars and bling, tells the panel that the situation has changed. Boeing will use this as ammo for their Congressional delegations to warn that the Boeing Mesa facility will slowly loose well paid constituents. Recall the Army said it was done with CH-47 BLK 2 and Congress basically said "No you are not!".
 

John21

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So the AH-64E will be the last variant of the Apache (the best attack helicopter on the planet), it's replacement will have some very big shoes to fill.
Until the Army changes it's mind. I would not be surprised to see Congressional testimony in 3 to 5 years where someone with lots of stars and bling, tells the panel that the situation has changed. Boeing will use this as ammo for their Congressional delegations to warn that the Boeing Mesa facility will slowly loose well paid constituents. Recall the Army said it was done with CH-47 BLK 2 and Congress basically said "No you are not!".
Are you sure about the CH-47F BLK 2 procurement not being cancelled? The last things I read on it a month back or so said only the MH-47 variants are being bought.
 

yasotay

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You are correct that at this point the MH-47G is only thing on the books, however the Army has been told by the HASC (I think) that they are not happy at this decision and want the Army to buy more. I am very confident that Boeing, barring a contract for FARA or FLRAA, will put significant pressure on Congress and the Army to keep Mesa and Philadelphia going. Recall that we have a tank factory that produces new tanks, even though there is something like 2000 tanks ( I could be overstating the number) sitting in the desert.

Unless of course there is a decision to start the Capability Set 4 or 5 effort. This would be the CH-47 replacement. Either will likely need more money than the FARA and FLRAA efforts combined.
 

Colonial-Marine

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It is in the time since that announcement by Boeing we've seen mock-up for the high speed AH-64 so maybe they think they have a chance of convincing the Army otherwise.

All of that faceting on the Bell 360 but it's not designed to be stealthy? Rather disappointing.
 

Sundog

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It is in the time since that announcement by Boeing we've seen mock-up for the high speed AH-64 so maybe they think they have a chance of convincing the Army otherwise.

All of that faceting on the Bell 360 but it's not designed to be stealthy? Rather disappointing.
The faceting is to reduce the signature. By saying it isn't designed to be "stealthy,", I think what they mean is it's manufactured using standard materials, instead of materials that would constantly degrade in the field to lower the signature substantially. They are looking at a low cost robust solution for the mission. Also, the mission probably uses a lot of terrain masking, in which case the value of adding so much "stealth" tech just adds a lot of cost for little return on value/mission capability.
 

yasotay

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I believe the Army specified a specific cost parameter. It is a scout, it is suppose to be less expensive. Take the weight of an aircraft and multiply by 1000. That is how the Army anticipates a rotorcraft to cost.
 

rooster

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Now that's intersting...
I love Advanced AH-64 more
No reason there can't be both.
I'm afraid there are no money for them two .
Says who? Last I heard pretty much the entire AH-64 fleet is being remanufacture to the E model. Who's to say the advanced model couldn't be the "F" model after that? No need to have them both in rate production at the same time.
Valid point, but isn't the apaches days drawing to a close? Better to spend sparse dollars where they are required. That's why I see this offering here, and maybe I am crazy, but more for export. Its pretty typical helicopter performance unlike the newer stuff now testing and soon to be testing. Hot high numbers not too impressive by comparison.

I actually love rotary wing aviation and wish they would bring back the HVM from the 80s. That and stealth would be the stuff of dreams.
 

yasotay

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Now that's intersting...
I love Advanced AH-64 more
No reason there can't be both.
I'm afraid there are no money for them two .
Says who? Last I heard pretty much the entire AH-64 fleet is being remanufacture to the E model. Who's to say the advanced model couldn't be the "F" model after that? No need to have them both in rate production at the same time.
Valid point, but isn't the apaches days drawing to a close? Better to spend sparse dollars where they are required. That's why I see this offering here, and maybe I am crazy, but more for export. Its pretty typical helicopter performance unlike the newer stuff now testing and soon to be testing. Hot high numbers not too impressive by comparison.

I actually love rotary wing aviation and wish they would bring back the HVM from the 80s. That and stealth would be the stuff of dreams.
Recall that the Army has been getting the "last" version of the CH-47 since the mid-seventies. Apache will likely be around in Army inventory till after the middle of the Century, so I would very much expect there will be at least one more major upgrade. Now if that is a systems upgrade or propulsion upgrade, or both is anyone's guess.
 

rooster

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Now that's intersting...
I love Advanced AH-64 more
No reason there can't be both.
I'm afraid there are no money for them two .
Says who? Last I heard pretty much the entire AH-64 fleet is being remanufacture to the E model. Who's to say the advanced model couldn't be the "F" model after that? No need to have them both in rate production at the same time.
Valid point, but isn't the apaches days drawing to a close? Better to spend sparse dollars where they are required. That's why I see this offering here, and maybe I am crazy, but more for export. Its pretty typical helicopter performance unlike the newer stuff now testing and soon to be testing. Hot high numbers not too impressive by comparison.

I actually love rotary wing aviation and wish they would bring back the HVM from the 80s. That and stealth would be the stuff of dreams.
Recall that the Army has been getting the "last" version of the CH-47 since the mid-seventies. Apache will likely be around in Army inventory till after the middle of the Century, so I would very much expect there will be at least one more major upgrade. Now if that is a systems upgrade or propulsion upgrade, or both is anyone's guess.
That's actually kind of sad to hear we will have them for that many more decades. In my youth I saw the Apache for the first time on some very early 80s TV show and they marveling at the look and shoot gun. I actually wanted to be an Apache pilot but learned they wouldn't take me very some trivial health reasons. As much as I love planes helicopters seem like an absolute blast to fly! Low and fast is just like a rollercoaster ride as opposed to hum drum boring jetliner cruising in planes...but now i am going off topic with my glass of wine!
 

yasotay

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U.S. Army Takes Reins of Rotorcraft Replacement

Oct 9, 2019

Lee Hudson | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Best of Both Worlds

The U.S. Army has the Pentagon’s blessing to lead development of a Sikorsky Black Hawk replacement and congressional support to do so without having to stop investing in the Block 2 Boeing Chinook to pay for it.

The Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), also known as Capability Set 3, is a subset of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative established to fill the medium-rotorcraft requirements of the Army, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). But this summer, the services began to chip away at the idea of a joint platform.

In July, the Army received permission to determine the fate of FLRAA prototype development when Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, delegated acquisition authority to the service. Two months later, in September, the Marine Corps launched external studies on the Attack Utility Replacement Aircraft (AURA), a high-speed rotorcraft to replace the Bell UH/AH-1 fleet.

Senate appropriations fiscal 2020 markup funds Chinook Block 2
Marines embark on separate helicopter replacement effort
A joint replacement for the H-1s, along with the Army’s UH-60s and SOCOM’s MH-60s, was the subject of an analysis of alternatives completed by the services early this year. The Marines’ move to seek ideas for AURA may banish any hope that FVL would result in greater platform commonality across the services. It seems the only way to achieve commonality resides within open mission system technologies.

The Marines’ request for information seeks responses from air vehicle, engine and mission systems suppliers by January. A hurdle to a joint solution with the Army is that the Marine Corps is looking for a top speed of 300-330 kt. and a 450-nm radius carrying 10 troops, while the Army is seeking a maximum speed of 250-289 kt. and an unrefueled combat radius of 200-300 nm with 12 troops.

The Marines need a faster, longer-range rotorcraft because AURA is envisioned as an armed escort for the Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor. The concept advancement phase will inform a Milestone A decision after fiscal 2023 that will lead to selecting a contractor to develop and produce the AURA.

At the same time, the Army has released a solicitation to formally kick off competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) for FLRAA with the goal of equipping the first unit no later than 2030—an acceleration of almost five years over previous plans. The solicitation was issued through the Army Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium Other Transaction Authority and is not publicly available.

The solicitation likely went to Bell and Sikorsky/Boeing, which are flight testing demonstrators for FLRAA under the Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) science and technology program. Bell has been flying the V-280 tiltrotor since December 2017 and has demonstrated its 280-kt. top speed. The Sikorsky/Boeing coaxial rigid-rotor compound SB-1 Defiant first flew in March.

“The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant is flying, and we are continuing our flight-test program as part of our aircraft envelope expansion program,” the team tells Aviation Week in a statement.

Aviation modernization plans will cost the Army more than $4.7 billion over the fiscal 2020-24 future years defense program. In order to free up funding for FVL, Army senior leadership decided to cancel the Block 2 upgrade for the service’s heavy-lift CH-47F Chinooks.

The Army originally planned to upgrade 542 CH-47Fs and 69 MH-47Gs to the Block 2 standard. Now the service plans to take delivery of the last -CH-47F Block 1 in 2020 and then procure Block 2 upgrades only for the special-operations MH-47Gs.

The justification for canceling CH-47 Block 2 procurement to free funding for FVL is that the Block 1 upgrade has made the Chinook fleet the youngest in the Army, with an average age of less than eight years. However, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing back on the strategy.

Senate appropriators in their mark up of the fiscal 2020 defense bill restored advance procurement funding to support the purchase of Block 2 upgrades. “The [Appropriations] Committee strongly encourages the Secretary of the Army to assess the increased cost, expected production issues as well as industrial base risks of delaying the successful acquisition program,” states a report accompanying the markup.

Funding added by Congress for 2019 will support additional flight testing by the two JMR technology demonstrators. Bell is continuing envelope expansion with the V-280 tiltrotor. For the Defiant, the Sikorsky/Boeing team is targeting a cruise speed of 250 kt.

The FLRAA solicitation signals “a tip of the hat on the multi-year acceleration that the Army’s committed to,” says Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, FVL cross-functional team director at U.S. Futures Command. FVL is the Army’s third modernization priority, after long-range precision fires and a next-generation combat vehicle.

The first phase of the CD&RR effort is to deliver initial conceptual designs that include technical documentation to support the design, requirements work and trade studies. “We are committed to equipping the Army’s first unit with Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft no later than 2030,” says Col. David Phillips, FLRAA project manager at the program executive office for aviation.

Now that the FVL requirements have been approved by Army leadership, the service will begin sharing information with allies. Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK all are interested in the work the U.S. is doing, says Rugen.

“You’re going to see an international plan probably that models other successful programs that the joint force has done,” Rugen says. “We’re glad to have these partners come aboard.”
 

VTOLicious

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I wonder why none of the contenders picked up the "swiveling tail rotor" concept, especially for FARA. It was introduced by Sikorsky for the S-66 project in 1964 (US Army AAFSS) and tested on a S-61F.
In the sixties that concept might have been ahead of its time (like ABC). But with todays technology it seems to be feasible... Best of both worlds?
 

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DWG

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I wonder why none of the contenders picked up the "swiveling tail rotor" concept, especially for FARA.
I suspect it would be both mechanically simpler (no need for a bendy gearbox) and propulsively more efficient to use a ducted fan and vector the thrust with vanes in the exhaust.
 

VTOLicious

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I wonder why none of the contenders picked up the "swiveling tail rotor" concept, especially for FARA.
I suspect it would be both mechanically simpler (no need for a bendy gearbox) and propulsively more efficient to use a ducted fan and vector the thrust with vanes in the exhaust.
That was done before by Piasecki, with limited success. They developed several demonstrators, with the X-49 Speedhawk being the latest. I would think the duct adds too much weight and drag.

 
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