US Army Ditches Next-Gen Helicopter Program In Major Aviation Shakeup 

The US Army is abandoning its multi-billion dollar Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program for next-generation scout helicopters. At the same time, the service has reassessed the modern battlefield in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. 

In an announcement, the service said the decision to end FARA was based on a “sober assessment of the modern battlefield” that would now allow it to increase investments in unmanned aerial vehicles. FARA was launched in 2018 and selected two helicopters in 2020: Bell-Textron with the 360 Invictus and Sikorsky with its Raider X. 

“We are learning from the battlefield – especially in Ukraine – that aerial reconnaissance has fundamentally changed,” Army Chief of Staff General Randy George said in a statement.

George said, “Sensors and weapons mounted on a variety of unmanned systems and in space are more ubiquitous, further reaching and more inexpensive than ever before.”

He continued, “We are paying attention [to world events] and adjusting because we could go to war tonight, this weekend.” 

As for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program, the Army plans to continue with the Bell V-280 Valor, a tiltrotor aircraft designed to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk. The service noted production of the UH-60V version of the Black Hawk will be halted in 2025. 

This represents a significant transformation in the Army’s aviation strategy and upends years of planning.  


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