US and UK army officials signed an agreement this week to explore working together on future vertical lift programs.
The Future Vertical Lift Cooperative Program Feasibility Assessment calls on the countries to share future rotorcraft requirement information “to assess the benefits, risks, and overall feasibility of rotorcraft cooperation,” the Future Vertical Life Cross-Functional Team stated.
It also seeks to “explore and analyze new concepts for the employment of coalition airpower in the lower tier air domain, the air space where Army aviation typically operates.”
The objectives include reduction of program cost and performance risk, enabling and improving aircraft interoperability, and exchanging information that could be of use “in their respective national decision-making processes.”
The US Army is currently pursuing at least three vertical lift programs: the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, and Air-Launched Effects.
“The Army completed Project Convergence 21, our largest Joint experiment in 15 years, last fall and this year PC22 will include allied nations,” US Team director Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen said.
“Arrangements like these will ultimately improve our capabilities and strengthen our forces, focusing on joint lethality, survivability and reach, while ensuring affordability for both our countries.”
His British counterpart, Maj. Gen. James Bowder added, “Together we are stronger. Our deep science and technology collaboration is an important element of this and makes us both more competitive. Today’s agreement formalizes our cooperation to help determine the future direction of aviation in competition and conflict.”