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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:08 am

The Bell may be the safest, but that speed barrier is a weakness. I would also guess that the Bell would be down selected as a safe contender and either Boeing is Sikorsky as the second contender with more risk but higher performance ceiling.

bt
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texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:45 pm

I talked to someone at one of the majors recently who felt that regardless of FARA, the Army is very likely to split the awards on the various FVL requirements (mainly JMR-TD vs. FARA). With Boeing-Sikorsky jointly developing the Joint Common Architecture (JCA) and having been selected for the tech demonstrator phase there (Sikorsky (now Lockheed)-Boeing, and Bell-Lockheed), my guess is that the Sikorsky (Lockheed) Raider X bid is not selected for FARA here, and AVX despite working very hard with a small team to show it can 'do it' hasn't gotten much real support I don't think (and I think it's ducted concept would work better/best in a utility role).

Boeing and Bell seem most likely as a high-low mix then, yes, with Karem as a bit of a spoiler. I can't see any chance of, for instance, a Karem-AVX joint award.

The specifications for this (40 foot rotor limit) also mean very little is actually shared as between these FARA proposals with the troop transport bids, structurally (outside of the engines and aforementioned JCA).
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:08 am

It is hard to keep track of the helo programs right now - Isn't it FARA and FVL. I wonder if the Army is looking at the two programs to ensure good compatibility and reduce risk. There are several compound bidders which to me seems like a huge advance in tech, but it may not have enough in service time to eliminate risk. Surely one of: Raider, Raider-X, and SB>1 Defiant will be selected but not two. Now to figure out which of the three will be the best choice.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:52 pm

OK this is the FARA thread but there is no FLRAA thread. But today the Army did the down select to 2 - the Bell V-280 and the Boeing/ Sikorsky SB>1 are getting contracts to develop the design and bid for the final contract in around 2 years. All other bidders are out.

"Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor and the SB>1 Defiant coaxial compound helicopter are now the two official contenders for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA."

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bell-v ... selection/

The tilt-rotor and the compound advance here. I see where FLRAA, and FARA may actually split into getting 3 helo's instead of 2. The V-280 has lots of great capabilities, but the compounds have a great set of different capabilities. Could it become - the V-280, the Defiant or Raider as the compound choice, and the 3rd becomes the low risk conventional proposals of FARA.
 
angad84
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:52 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
OK this is the FARA thread but there is no FLRAA thread. But today the Army did the down select to 2 - the Bell V-280 and the Boeing/ Sikorsky SB>1 are getting contracts to develop the design and bid for the final contract in around 2 years. All other bidders are out.

"Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor and the SB>1 Defiant coaxial compound helicopter are now the two official contenders for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA."

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bell-v ... selection/

The tilt-rotor and the compound advance here. I see where FLRAA, and FARA may actually split into getting 3 helo's instead of 2. The V-280 has lots of great capabilities, but the compounds have a great set of different capabilities. Could it become - the V-280, the Defiant or Raider as the compound choice, and the 3rd becomes the low risk conventional proposals of FARA.

And let's not forget the USN is planning their MH-60R re-cap.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:11 pm

No, I think FLRAA will wind up selecting only one of the V-280/SB-1 ultimately for a production contract award after this program of record is concluded. Neither competitor there would meet the spec’s for FARA, mainly the need to fit in a 40 foot box.

Certainly, only one final FARA winner will happen, but the down-select to two for the TD (Tech. Demonstration) phase should happen next month. The two participants selected to continue into the prototype phase of the program would receive about $735 million each from FY20 to FY23, and it can’t really go faster due to the engine not being ready yet.

Back to your question Jay, the FVL program had originally anticipated/dreamt up to 5 categories of future aircraft, but I am skeptical more than 3 will result. The CH-47 replacement is likely to be last, with a nominal goal of 2035, but probably a decade later.

Once the Army starts getting, in essence, the armed scout and Blackhawk replacements, respectively (FARA and FLRAA), my guess is Boeing will push to re-engine the Chinooks with the T901’s common to those and there will be little funding to go for a replacement design. What would be particularly intriguing to me is if the T901 might be adapted to the S-92 for the heavy replacement.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:12 pm

And the answer is: Bell and Lockheed/Sikorsky!

https://twitter.com/fvlcft/status/12429 ... 77664?s=21

Congrats to both teams. I look forward to the next phase/flights.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:43 pm

texl1649 wrote:
And the answer is: Bell and Lockheed/Sikorsky!

https://twitter.com/fvlcft/status/12429 ... 77664?s=21

Congrats to both teams. I look forward to the next phase/flights.


Yep, DefenseNews has the following article.

Lockheed and Bell will compete head-to-head to build US Army’s future attack recon aircraft

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin-owned company, and Bell have been selected to build and fly Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) prototypes for the U.S. Army in a head-to-head competition, according to a March 25 Army statement.

The Army is planning to procure both a FARA and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) that will slowly replace the current fleet of Sikorsky-manufactured UH-60 Black Hawks utility helicopters and Boeing-made AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The service plans to initially field both in the 2030s.

FARA will fill a critical capability gap currently being filled by AH-64E Apache attack helicopters teamed with Shadow unmanned aircraft following the retirement of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

The service has tried and failed three times to fill the gap with an aircraft.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/army-mo ... -aircraft/

Good choices I think as as I previouslysuggested the Army has gone, IMO, for a high and low choice. I really like the chances now for something to come out of this and the Army actually get a production level aircraft in sufficient numbers.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:36 pm

Very true Ozair 10. My hope frankly is that the Army breaks the trend and selects the low end option, as I think Bell has a simple concept and hopefully to be frank I want them to get some of these ideas into a new single light civilian aircraft.

The interesting thing to watch will yes be Boeing's response. They could of course protest (but are highly unlikely to win that), or focus on other things (since their plate is, ahem, a bit full). Longer term, they have a lot of defensive interests at play; the legacy CH-47 and AH-64 fleets will need to be re-engined and upgraded. Boeing has studied for a long time some very radical Apache upgrades (stud wings, pusher prop to replace the tail rotor, etc.) I expect some updated AH-64X proposals over the next couple years with lowered sustainment costs. Keeping the Apache both in service and some form of new-build production (as they have done masterfully with the F-15) with the US Army would be my primary objective if I were them (in military vertical lift). The old Vertol product is great and all but has a limited long range future.

https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/heres-b ... he-apache/

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 27.article

Image

Boeing also says the compound helicopter is not aimed at any specific future request from the service, but would be part of a modernisation effort of the existing AH-64 programme. Images of the rotorcraft were first previewed at a Vertical Flight Society conference in 2016 where the aircraft was described as a bridge between the current Apache fleet and the US Army's Future Vertical Lift replacement. Boeing now speaks of the compound rotorcraft as a longer-term solution for the service's attack aircraft needs.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:43 pm

Interesting piece. I just realized Bell and LM/Sikorsky are the two contenders in both FARA and FLRAA. Likely, the Army won't award both to one vendor, and I'm pretty sure both would prefer to win the FLRAA over FARA. Anyway, final design review for FARA is this December, with summer 2022 for ground testing on each and first flight around November 2022, then in 2023 the Army will have them both at Redstone for final flight testing/analysis.

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/fara-c ... ical-lift/
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:59 am

Interesting analysis;

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulkennar ... 6cf81d2687

“ With the potential slowdown in CH-47F production, and V-22 Osprey (a joint project between Bell and Boeing) also seemingly closer to the end than the beginning, there is no doubt that Boeing had industrial capacity to build the FARA in large numbers relatively quickly.

The answer, almost certainly, lies in politics and industrial strategy. Bell and Sikorsky are now the only two companies in both FLRAA and FARA (albeit Boeing do have a stake in the Defiant). It’s extremely unlikely, for both political and capacity reasons, that one company will win both competitions. However, by awarding one each, it guarantees the medium-term future of two major U.S. helicopter manufacturers.

Cynically, Boeing is probably considered as having enough reserves and a broad enough portfolio to take the pain of not winning FARA. Bell likely needs a large government contract to make up for the denouement of V-22, UH-1 and AH-1 production, not to mention stiff competition from Leonardo and Airbus in the civil helicopter market. Sikorsky, though shielded by the Lockheed Martin Corporation, need a ‘win’ and a Return on Investment for the X2/Raider technology. The CH-53K programme is late and over budget. Ironically, their signature product, the UH-60 Black Hawk, has rebounded on them as a number of third party companies are now offering overhauled and updated UH-60s at a significant discount. Whilst the S-92 continues to be a popular machine in the civil marketplace, a further, large volume military contract is essential to keeping the company going in its current form.

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:56 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Cynically, Boeing is probably considered as having enough reserves and a broad enough portfolio to take the pain of not winning FARA.


As a subtier supplier, Boeing is a high cost company, they are slower to react. However if you run in to trouble, they have enough mass to throw resources at the problem to get back on track.

The one ace card that Boeing has is their digital manufacturing process that can reduce the cost of your airframe significantly. That would mean a big chunk of the work share process though.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:05 pm

texl1649 wrote:

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”


Exactly what I am predicting, or at least hoping for. They are both worthy designs with new technology, particularly when compared to the AH-64 pusher and wing upgrade. Positively crude by comparison.
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:10 pm

I would think new engines and BERP blades would be a more cost-effective upgrade for the Apache with lower risk and roughly the same speed increase, if the Westland Lynx record holder is any indication...
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:43 pm

An interesting RFI released by the FARA PM. They are seeking to improve or innovate across a number of the GFM that will be provided to FARA aircraft.

Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Request for Information - FARA Mission Systems

The FARA Project Manager (PM) seeks information on potential mission systems to be integrated and qualified on the FARA aircraft during engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) with eventual transition to production and fielding. Information provided as part of this RFI will inform FARA risk reduction activities and near-term aircraft configuration decisions. As a follow-up to this RFI, the FARA and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) Project Offices are planning a combined Industry Day event in Huntsville, AL in summer 2020. Details will be provided to all RFI participants at a later date.

https://beta.sam.gov/opp/08d4b8fe0d8e4d ... f7555/view

The specific areas they are seeking info and ideas on are the following,

FARA Mission Systems Domains

Sensors: Sensor systems and fused sensor systems capable of providing pilotage through a solid state staring array covering 360 degrees in degraded visual environments (DVE), day/night air and ground targeting at close, mid, and extended ranges to maximize target acquisition capabilities and support all munition types, low-light and wire/obstacle detection, radar detection, radar interferometry, weather detection, terrain avoidance, and situational awareness. Software that minimizes pilot workload through fusion of multiple sensor inputs and artificial intelligence to aid in pilot decision-making. All sensor data should be capable of internal transmission to pilot head-up displays and multiple cockpit displays and external transmission to other systems in the operational environment.

Communications: A multi-band and single band communications suite capable of providing line of sight and beyond light of sight communications in HF, VHF (AM/FM), UHF (AM/SATCOM), Link 16, advanced networking waveforms, Blue Force Tracking, workload-reduced manned/unmanned (MUM) teaming through Level of Interoperability (LOI) 5, identification/transponders, and internal communications. Aircraft Surveillance capable of Mode 5 Level 2 out/in, Mode 5 Level 2 Broadcast, Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) In/out, and interrogation of air and ground threats. The FARA PM is interested in a comprehensive suite that minimizes weight, simplifies integration for future modifications/upgrades, and is fully integrated with and conformant to the aircraft open system architecture.

Navigation: Aircraft navigation sets capable of legacy and next generation civil navigation modes in VHF Nav/ILS, TACAN, Doppler, EGI with M-code encryption, and assured precision navigation and timing (A-PNT), and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) assisted visual-based solutions for aerial navigation in GPS denied environments and under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). The FARA PM is also interested in solutions and software applications that support supervised autonomy / optionally-manned flight.

Survivability: Aircraft Survivability Equipment to provide spherical coverage of the host platform in order to defeat the FARA threats. Aircraft survivability systems capable of detecting RF, IR, and laser threats. Missile warning systems capable of threat launch detection. Hostile fire systems capable of ballistic fire detection. Countermeasure systems capable of protecting against RF and IR threats. Electronic Warfare (EW) to include RF jamming systems. The FARA PM is interested in a comprehensive ASE suite that minimizes weight, can be fused with aircraft navigation and pilotage systems, and fully integrated with and conformant to the aircraft open architecture.

Infrastructure / Digital Backbone: Components, technologies and standards that support and complement the Government’s MOSA objective to enable rapid development, integration, and modification of mission systems and enhanced mission systems capabilities by qualified third-party integrators without air vehicle OEM involvement.

Data Fusion: Technology that enables fusion of multiple aircraft data inputs to support creation of a synthetic operating picture to improve mission effectiveness and reduce crew workload.

Pilot Interface: Heads up / helmet mounted displays that are high definition, color-capable, and night-vision device compatible. Cognitive decision aiding tools such as voice activation technology, 3D audio, and other cueing capabilities.

Effectors: Fully-integrated 20mm cannon with minimum 180 degree, desired 360 degree of azimuthal coverage and 60 degree elevation coverage.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:46 pm

texl1649 wrote:

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”


That would seem a good bet although things can change significantly between now and then. I think the respective manufacturers would probably be happy if that was the split although both would of course be happy to win both!
 
IADFCO
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:59 pm

As to FARA, my opinion is that the key factor is going to be how much the US Army is willing to pay for speed.

My guess is that the Bell entry is designed to barely match the 180 kts cruise requirement, and even that may be a struggle. With the very little information available so far, with the same rotor diameter as the Comanche (and the same solidity, for the same Cw/sigma? we don't know, and we don't know the weight either), the Comanche cruised at 149 (165) kts (source: Wikipedia) with (without) the mast radar with a total 3000 SHP. The Bell 360 is claimed to cruise at 180 kts (presumably "clean" but with the extra wing drag) with about 3000 + 600 = 3600 SHP. Depending on weight, rotor solidity, and maybe rotor RPM, that may not be enough.

The Sikorsky entry would obviously have no problem with speed, and will have much greater maneuverability because of the stiff hingeless rotors and the pusher prop. There would be a big price to pay, though, in dollars and complexity. I don't know whether that aircraft is a monstrosity or an engineering miracle, probably a bit of both. That's the price to pay to cross 200 kts in a helicopter in a compact package.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon May 04, 2020 2:40 am

Flight Global has a free article for subscribers that compares the two FARA options.

How Bell’s 360 Invictus and Sikorsky’s Raider X compare

For the US Army, speed means advantage, so it has set demanding targets for its planned Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). With a cruise speed of at least 180kt (333km/h), the aircraft that will replace the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior as its scouting and light attack rotorcraft is to be designed, built, tested, flown and fielded to its first unit by 2028.

...

Adding FARA to its fleet is the US Army’s number one aviation priority.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 80.article

Some interesting parts of the article that compare the technological approaches

Bell
“When the aircraft is in the fleet or in the field, if it becomes a big resources drain that impacts everything else [negatively],” says Frank Lazzara, Bell’s director of advanced vertical lift systems sales and strategy. “We did not go after a complex propulsor because of the complexity and weight. With weight usually comes cost.” Bell also points out that it went with a four-bladed main rotor to reduce complexity. And, the company says its main rotor will be made of conventional materials, making it easier to manufacture.


Sikorsky
“The retreating blade stall that any kind of single main rotor aircraft is going to have, you don’t have with this aircraft,” says Jay Macklin

...

Sikorsky also notes that its side-by-side cockpit makes for a wider aircraft body which can hold additional munitions, fuel or soldiers, should the army want to make use of the extra capacity in the future. “While that wasn’t an explicit request or requirement on the army’s part, you can imagine as they evolve their tactics, techniques and procedures, and try to find new ways to use the asset, that could certainly be a warfighter enhancement,” says Macklin.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon May 04, 2020 1:41 pm

Thx. I still haven't seen much by way of explanation as to this boosting unit's configuration/power. Will be interested to learn more.

"The 360 Invictus also has a wing, a booster auxiliary power unit, tandem seating for better aerodynamics and a ducted tail rotor."
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 09, 2020 2:22 pm

No impact on FLRAA or FARA so far from COVID, for testing purposes this summer. ITE is of course a key pacing item.

“What’s the biggest impact COVID has had on FVL so far? Of the five project managers who spoke to reporters this morning, just one said he’s definitely delaying something, a Critical Design Review for the new Improved Turbine Engine. How big was that delay? Just two weeks.

The engine system CDR will start June 15th instead of June 1st, said the turbine PM, Col. Roger Kuykendall. But the deadline to complete the review wasn’t until October, he went on, “so we’re actually still ahead of our schedule.””

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/cov ... -army-fvl/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun May 10, 2020 7:00 am

This article on the SB-1 Defiant vs V-280 Valor RFP for FLRAA but no thread on it. It discusses handling and controls, both seem to be great concepts. But as we all know, it is how well the design actually works in service. I feel like the compound helicopter has a lot of promise, hope that at least one gets selected.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... placement/

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