US Army’s ‘cloud in the sky’ should be on board by late 2024

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army plans to field its “cloud in the sky” for the current aviation fleet by the end of fiscal 2024, according to the service’s Program Executive Office Aviation.

Other transaction authority contracts through the Army Contracting Command’s New Jersey center were awarded to three vendors in July, and they will hit the ground running to conduct analysis for an Aviation Mission Common Server, or AMCS, Army spokesman David Hylton said in a statement sent to Defense News on Aug. 24.


US Army seeks new airborne tech to detect, defeat radar systems

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is seeking industry input on new technology allowing aircraft to survive and defeat systems in sophisticated adversarial environments made up of sensitive radars and integrated air defense systems.

A notice posted online Aug. 12 from the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center is asking industry for ideas ahead of an industry day in September that will provide additional information regarding the technical specifications. The service will also answer questions in depth at the event.


Army Cost Estimates on Next-Generation Vehicle Programs Need Work, GAO Finds

U.S. Army modernization officials can do a better job of reducing risk and estimating costs in two efforts under the service’s Next Generation Ground Combat Vehicle (NGCV) priority, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Nearly three years ago, the service launched an ambitious modernization effort designed to replace its major armored combat vehicles, helicopters, long-range fires and air defense capabilities, as well as update its tactical network and improve soldier lethality. The effort included standing up Army Future Command and relying on a flexible acquisition strategy that focuses on early rapid prototyping to speed up program completion.


With airlines lagging, Army looking to bring former aviators back

FORT RUCKER, Ala. — With airlines running a reduced flight schedule and generally not hiring, the Army is open to accepting former aviators and crew members back into the service, according to the Army’s command chief warrant officer for the aviation branch.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jon Koziol appeared on a Facebook livestream Wednesday evening from Fort Rucker, Alabama, and explained the opportunities to those tuning into the page for the Rotary to Airline Group, known as RTAG, founded to help veterans transition to the airline industry.


Bell releases incredible video of its prototype rotorcraft

Bell Textron Inc., part of American conglomerate Textron, has released new video footage shows the Bell 360 Invictus prototype submission as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program.

Posted on the company’s Youtube channel, the computer-generated animation showed a prototype rotorcraft designed to provide improved lethality, survivability, and extended reach for Army Aviation.

The FARA competition seeks to test and acquire a next-generation attack reconnaissance aircraft to fill a critical capability gap identified by the Army on a rapid schedule.


Army Helo Market Pegged at $10 Billion

Market opportunities for the Army’s helicopter fleet will average about $10 billion per year over the next decade as the service modernizes its rotary-wing assets, according to analysts.

The current inventory includes UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, AH-46 Apache attack helicopters, CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters. All but the Lakota are still in production today.


The next few months are ‘critical’ for the Army’s new helicopter engine

WASHINGTON — The Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program is facing a “critical” stretch which will determine whether testing on the engine will occur on time or be delayed, thanks to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a pair of Army officials said Wednesday.

Patrick Mason, the program executive officer for Army aviation, and Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, the director for future vertical lift inside Army Futures Command, said that the service has finished its component critical design review (CDR) process, and has moved on to its full program CDR, a key milestone before moving into testing.

However, “given COVID and all of the factors that have gone on with COVID,” the plan to have the full CDR done during second quarter has been pushed to third quarter, Mason said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.


After nearly 50 years as the Army’s workhorse, the venerable Kiowa helicopter is taking flight again for Greece

The distinctive and venerable OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, mothballed and grounded in the dry desert of Arizona, after being retired from US Army service with almost 50 years of service, is finding its wings again in Greece.

For an Army aviator, this was also a chance to get back into the seat of a historic platform and to share his knowledge and flying skills to a new generation of Hellenic pilots.

“I lucked out with this (foreign military sales) case as I was an instructor pilot in the Kiowa prior to switching to the Apache,” Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Meadows, a military aviation trainer from the US Army Security Assistance Command, said of his selection.


Aviators, industry converge at Cribbins symposium

Leaders from across the Army?s aviation enterprise gathered with key industry representatives to identify solutions for some of the most challenging sustainment issues facing today?s Army aviators during the 47th annual Cribbins Aviation Product Support Symposium Nov 20-21 at the Von Braun Center.

The theme for this year?s Army Aviation Association of America symposium was ?Sustainment of Army Aviation in Multi-Domain Operations.? The AAAA?s Tennessee Valley chapter hosted the event with help from Aviation and Missile Command, Program Executive Office for Aviation, Army Futures Command and industry partners.

AMCOM Commander Maj. Gen. Todd Royar highlighted some of the challenges facing AMCOM and the Army in an ever-changing and complex world during his address at the symposium.


Army aviators ask for more comfort, less workload from future vertical lift teams

Army Futures Command introduced about a dozen soldiers to technology demonstrators for the service?s future vertical lift program last week, giving them an opportunity to provide input prior to the evaluations and fly-offs over the next few years.

The soldiers spent a full day each with Bell?s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft in Arlington, Texas, and Sikorsky-Boeing?s SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The site visits included flying simulators and aircraft familiarizations. Two of the soldiers who participated spoke with Army Times about the experience.

?We?ve never seen anything like it,? said Chief Warrant Officer 2 William Bogert, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.