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In preparation for Great Power Competition with Russia and China, a strategy that includes renewed emphasis on nuclear deterrence and stronger NATO and Indo-Pacific military capabilities, the United States Army is planning to retire its signature aircrafts, like the Apache and Black Hawk, and replace them with the next generation of helicopters. This new initiative is called Future Vertical Lift. Today is the first part of our series on army modernization, sponsored in part by SAIC, CACI and General Dynamics.

  • Major General Walter T. Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team for the U.S. Army, said the Army needs to enter the digital age with its fleets and transform future battlefield geometry to be able to fight peer and near-peer threats.
  • Brigadier General Robert Barrie, program executive officer of aviation in the U.S. Army, said the Army is transforming capabilities as well as pilot training and use of data.
  • Barrie and Rugen said they work across the enterprise and with external organizations to ensure affordability of systems.
  • Rugen said a “fly before buying” approach and prototypes are essential; Barrie said they will enable the Army to field Future Vertical Lift platforms by the end of the decade.

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