Future of Army Aviation Funding Remains Murky

The Army has ambitious plans to acquire next-generation aircraft as it gears up for great power competition. But uncertainty about future vertical lift programs and other modernization efforts leaves an unclear picture of what lies ahead, analysts say.

The service has about 4,300 piloted aircraft, most of which are helicopters, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The H-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and H-47 Chinooks account for most of the rotary wing platforms.


Black Hawk Turns 40

The U.S. Army doctrine of moving soldiers quickly into and out of enemy territory by air was a staple of Vietnam, which made the Bell UH-1 an emblem of the Helicopter War.

With 40 years of service ? much of it in combat ? the H-60 Black Hawk has achieved similar status as an ever-present aircraft delivering troops, rescuing wounded soldiers and hovering over U.S. operations in post-9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

Since its introduction to service in 1978, Sikorsky has churned out more than 4,000 H-60 airframes in a variety of configurations. Now owned by Lockheed Martin, the company built 600 A-model Black Hawks, 800 UH-60Ls and 1,200 UH-Ms outfitted with a modern glass cockpit.

We Talk V-280 Valor Versus V-22 Osprey With Bell’s Head Of Tiltrotor Systems

There seems to be a lot of questions surrounding Bell’s V-280 Valor, including how it differs from the V-22 Osprey and how the company intends on making the case that its second iteration of tiltrotor technology should replace a large number of H-60 Black Hawk variants, along with other helicopters, to satisfy the Pentagon’s ambitious Future Vertical Lift initiative. The V-280’s primary competition exists in the form of Sikorsky’s SB>1 Defiant coaxial rotor, pusher-compound helicopter.