Army Maneuver Officials Want to Buy Ammo Resupply Drones and Give them to BCTs

Army maneuver officials are testing quadcopter drones capable of carrying ammunition, water and other supplies into battle, a “promising” concept that could eliminate the danger of resupplying infantry units in the middle of a gunfight.

“Normally, you would bring the supplies up once you reach some sort of termination, reorganization and consolidation in the fight,” Ed Davis, director of the Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia, told “What this does is allow you to bring emergency supplies forward while you are still in the fight because it’s unmanned.”

The battle lab kicked off Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) 2021, during which it plans to refine tactical resupply using improved variants of commercial drones that participated in last year’s experiment, he said.


FVL: Robotic Co-Pilots Will Help Fly Black Hawks In 2021

WASHINGTON: The Army and Sikorsky are converting a pair of aging UH-60 Black Hawks to use cutting-edge automation and fly-by-wire controls, with side-by-side formation flights planned for late 2021. A successful demonstration could pave the way both for upgrades across the entire helicopter fleet – not just Black Hawks – and for the next-generation Future Vertical Lift aircraft, which the Army wants to be “optionally manned” from day one.

Just replacing maintenance-intensive mechanical and hydraulic controls with all-electric fly-by-wire would be a major improvement. But installing fly-by-wire also makes it possible for a computer to fly the aircraft or help a human to do so, potentially preventing deadly accidents due to human error.

Sikorsky, part of Lockheed Martin, makes the UH-60 – the modern-day mainstay of Army aviation – and is competing to build both the scout and transport versions of FVL.


U.S. Army selects BAE Systems to deliver autonomy capabilities for Future Vertical Lift initiative

BAE Systems has been awarded multiple contracts from the U.S. Army to develop key technologies for the Advanced Teaming Demonstration Program (A-Team). BAE Systems was the only company awarded contracts for three of the program’s four focus areas, designed to advance manned and unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capabilities that are expected to be critical components in the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.

In order to combat the increasingly complex, contested, and communication-denied battlespace presented by near-peer adversaries, the U.S. Army developed the A-Team program to create an automated system to offload the cognitive burden of pilots while enabling them to command swarms of unmanned aircraft.


US Army Field Tests Latest RQ–7B Shadow Drone

The US Army has wrapped up its operational testing of the RQ–7B Shadow Block III system, the latest in the Shadow series of the tactical unmanned aerial system (TUAS).

The testing included 94 missions and over 400 flight hours under realistic battlefield conditions, the US army said in a statement.

A team of analysts will now provide relevant inputs from the tests to the army evaluators to assess the capability of the Block III system.


Low, Fast, Networked & Lethal: Future Army Airpower

WASHINGTON: The year is 2030, and an Army scout aircraft streaks above the treetops at 200 miles an hour.

At speeds no conventional helicopter could reach, advanced sensors and automation help the human pilots skim over obstacles while staying under radar. Wireless networks link the manned craft to a swarm of unmanned ones: mini-drones to scout ahead, big flying “mules” to haul high-powered jamming pods and racks of missiles. Miles overhead, satellites spot enemy anti-aircraft batteries and warn the pilots to evade, then transmit target coordinates to long-range missile batteries that blast a path for the aircraft to advance.

That’s the vision for Army aviation in future wars, as laid out for us in interviews with senior pilots — including the Chief of Staff.


U.S. Army experimental test pilots fly Bell V-280 Valor

In support of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) selection program, U.S. Army Redstone Test Center (RTC) experimental test pilots (XPs) conducted flights of the Bell V-280 Valor in August 2020, as part of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) preparations for the FLRAA test effort, a key element of Army Modernization.

The FLRAA is on track for full rate production by 2030. On Mar. 16, the Army awarded Other Transaction Agreement contracts to Bell and Sikorsky for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) phase of the FLRAA aircraft. The CD&RR will extend over two years; informing the final Army requirements and the program of record planned for competition in fiscal year 2022.


Airbus to introduce the newest series of Lakota helicopter UH-72B to the US Army and National Guard

Airbus Helicopters will introduce the newest series of its Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army’s fleet, the company announced today at the 2020 National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) virtual tradeshow.

Starting with new orders placed this year for 17 additional Lakota helicopters, the U.S. Army will welcome the newest series – known as the UH-72B – to their fleet in 2021. Airbus has delivered more than 460 UH-72A Lakota helicopters to the U.S. Army, Navy and National Guard, with the 463rd and final UH-72A model slated for delivery in September.


The Helicopters That Made the U.S. Army’s ISIS Raid Possible

The helicopters that took part in this weekend’s raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid were from an elite U.S. Army helicopter unit created to transport American commandos on high risk missions. The MH-60 and MH-47 helicopters were from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the ?Night Stalkers.?

Since their inception in the early 1980s, the Night Stalkers have participated in a number of high profile missions, including the attempted capture of Somali warlord Mohammad Farah Aidid chronicled in ?Black Hawk Down? and the killing of Osama bin Laden.


What squadron will the future attack recon helo call home?

WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Army aviation branch is considering whether the future attack reconnaissance aircraft ? expected to be fielded in 2030 ? would be housed in cavalry squadrons in lieu of attack reconnaissance squadrons, according to the Army Aviation Center of Excellence commander at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

?The Army is looking at whether or not we have a requirement to build reconnaissance and security capabilities into the corps and division level and, if we do, I believe those would include aviation and that could mean FARA is included in those formations, but it is way too early to determine that.? Maj. Gen. David Francis said in a statement.