The US Army is building a ?cloud in the sky? for its aviation fleet

WASHINGTON ? The Army is building what is essentially a ?cloud in the sky? for its current aviation fleet as it prepares the aircraft to fight alongside a future fleet under development, according to Maj. Gen. Thomas Todd, the program executive officer for Army aviation.

The general spoke to Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army?s annual conference.

The current fleet won?t dissolve into thin air when future helicopters are fielded, and they will be expected to fly together in operational environments across multiple domains. The Army is aiming to field a future attack reconnaissance aircraft and a future long-range assault aircraft by 2030.


The Army is making progress on fixing its pilot shortage, so it?s turning the focus on maintainers

The Army has all but come back from a pilot shortage that plagued the aviation community for the past few years, the head of the Aviation Center of Excellence said Wednesday. Following a period of low production at flight school, the Army is now working to balance its numbers of new aviators with more experienced pilots, while bolstering opportunities for enlisted aircraft maintainers, Maj. Gen. William Gayler told an audience at the Association of the U.S. Army headquarters outside of Washington, D.C.


Army aviation taking major steps in 2019 to improve fleet

WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Army aviation?s program office is taking steps in 2019 to improve the fleet, to include moving forward on a major engine replacement effort for UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters as well as providing some of the fleet with improved visibility for degraded visual environments, according to the service?s program executive officer for aviation.

Both of those efforts have been touted as major priorities for Army aviation but have taken longer to bring online than expected.

The service is headed into a period of aggressive modernization to include a plan to buy two new Future Vertical Lift helicopters in the 2030s, but the Army also has to strike a balance to keep its current fleet capable and ready.

Army Approaches Its Biggest Aviation Decision In 60 Years: Whether To Buy Tiltrotors

The Association of the United States Army held its annual conference and exposition in the nation?s capital last week. The event was huge and heavily attended, with hundreds of suppliers participating. But it wasn?t hard to figure out who had the biggest exhibit. It was Textron, owner of Bell Helicopter, which brought a full-scale model of a tiltrotor combat aircraft to the event.

Textron isn?t ranked among the Pentagon?s top contractors, but it sees an opportunity in the near future to reach a breakthrough deal with the Army comparable to when it sold thousands of UH-1 ?Hueys? during the Vietnam War. The Army is seeking to replace all of its current rotorcraft with next-generation aircraft under a joint program called Future Vertical Lift, and Textron thinks its unique tiltrotor technology is what the Army needs.

General to Army Aviators: ‘Quit Apologizing’ and Ask for What You Need

Retired Gen. James Thurman recently told Army aviation officials they’ve got to “quit apologizing” to the Pentagon and ask for what they need to win the next war.

“The Air Force doesn’t apologize, the Navy doesn’t apologize, so don’t apologize. You’ve got to go forward and put the bill on the table, and you’ve got to have the analytical data to back it up. That’s what happens in the Pentagon,” he said during a panel discussion last week at the Association of the United States Army’s Hot Topic event on aviation.