U.S. Army Upgrading Vertical Takeoff/Unmanned Aircraft System

The U.S. Army recently awarded five Rapid Prototyping Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) to AeroVironment, Inc.; Griffon Aerospace, Incorporated; Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation; Sierra Nevada Corporation; and Textron Systems for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Increment 2 (INC 2) competition.

The awards are based on the results of a competitive evaluation and vary from ~$1M to $25M, depending on how far the Project Agreement Holder (PAH) progresses through the base and option periods.

Northrop Grumman is developing an enhanced-capability version of the innovative V-BAT aircraft, shown in this rendering, to replace the Army's long-serving RQ-7B Shadow tactical UAS. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman and Shield AI)



As a Future Vertical Lift program, the FTUAS is the Army's premier Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aircraft modernization effort. FTUAS INC 2 requirements include runway independence, point take-off and landing, and a rapidly deployable Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capability.

When fielded, the FTUAS INC 2 will provide a distinct tactical advantage over current systems due to increased maneuverability through VTOL, improved command and control supported by the On-the-Move (OTM) capability, a reduced transportation and logistics footprint, as well as significantly improved survivability due to reduced noise signature.

The Sierra Nevada Corporation -- Voly-T is one of five project agreement holders for the FTUAS INC 2 Rapid Prototyping effort. (Photo Credit: Courtesy)



The FTUAS INC 2 will improve the brigade combat team's ability to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations that collect, develop, and report actionable intelligence information about the enemy in degraded Global Positioning System environments.

"FTUAS will revolutionize the way our Soldiers fight and win wars by providing enhanced Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition with unparalleled speed and agility," said COL Danielle Medaglia, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Manager.

The FTUAS INC 2 effort consists of five distinct development phases including a base and four option periods occurring between 2023 and 2025. After a series of design reviews in the Base through Option 2 periods, the remaining PAHs will demonstrate their capabilities through flight demonstrations and Third-Party MOSA verification activities in Option 3.

The Textron Systems -- Aerosonde HQ 4.8 is one of five project agreement holders for the FTUAS INC 2 Rapid Prototyping effort. (Photo Credit: Courtesy)



In Option 4, the remaining PAH will deliver four each air vehicles, mission system packages, payload packages, ground controllers, and two OTM controllers, all required maintenance tools and manuals, and all necessary ground support equipment for qualification testing and operational assessment.

Taking recent world events into consideration, the US Army recognizes the need for expedited and enhanced Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition. The FTUAS Team is dedicated to the mission and determined to meet the Army's needs today and in the future.

Want more information? Click below.

U.S. Army

Rate this article

[U.S. Army Upgrading Vertical Takeoff/Unmanned Aircraft System]

Very interesting, with information I can use
Interesting, with information I may use
Interesting, but not applicable to my operation
Not interesting or inaccurate

E-mail Address (required):


Type the number:


Copyright © 2023 by Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction Prohibited.
View our terms of use and privacy policy ::m::