Industry Competition Crucial to Program Success and Affordability
Redstone Arsenal, AL – In its effort to keep industry continuously engaged in the development of the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), the Program Executive Office for Aviation’s FLRAA/FARA Mission Systems Industry Day allowed industry leaders to provide feedback on the cost and performance efforts relative to the accelerated schedule needed to augment or replace both the H-60 Black Hawk helicopter (FLRAA) and OH-58 Scout helicopter (FARA).
Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, Director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team for the U.S. Army Futures Command, said it is critical to have “shared understanding” between the U.S. Government and industry partners. “The U.S. Army is committed to keeping industry continuously engaged and using engagements such as this so that we can optimize requirements especially as it relates to mission systems and Modular Open System Approach, which is a critical enabler for rapid integration of evolving technologies to support Multi-Domain Operations.”
“Transparency is critical in this dialogue between the U.S. Government and Industry,” said Mr. Patrick Mason, Deputy Program Executive Officer for Aviation. “We cannot come to optimized solution sets without transparency from our industry partners.”
The primary purpose of industry day is to supplement ongoing market research for the FLRAA and FARA mission system configurations. Both programs are interested in hardware and software solutions that are qualified and ready for integration now for consideration in the first increment, as well as conceptual solutions still under development for consideration in follow-on increments.
“Working with industry early and often to develop a conceptual design allows us to optimize our requirements to meet the U.S. Army’s goal of first unit equipped in FY2030,” Col. David Phillips, FLRAA Project Manager, said. “The alignment of interests from the U.S. Government and Industry gets us towards a common set of goals that enables more efficient and faster fielding of innovations. It is critical to get industry feedback on both cost and performance, and ensure the Army can meet our affordability goals.”
The July 13 event afforded the U.S. Government the opportunity to present information on both FLRAA and FARA lines of effort, program strategy, and current schedule. One-on-one sessions with Industry were also held through July 16, which provided the Government the opportunity to gain additional market research.
“Maximizing competition leads to not only a better aircraft, but also improves affordability over the lifecycle of the program,” said Col. Gregory Fortier, FARA Project Manager. He asked Industry to embrace competition, adding that “Meeting and engaging with industry leaders helps us make informed decisions on design optimization that will enable the Army to ensure FLRAA, FARA and capabilities are affordable, meet Multi-Domain Operations requirements and deliver on an aggressive schedule that does not sacrifice rigor for speed.”
Events such as Industry Day ultimately lead to improved affordability in both production and sustainment, which will directly translate into better performance and enhanced capability, to include schedule discipline. The Mission Systems Industry Day event is critical in informing the Army on Government and Contractor Furnished Equipment requirements, get industry feedback on cost, schedule and performance, and ensure the Army can meet both FLRAA and FARA affordability goals. It is also a venue that allows the Army to modernize its traditional requirements approach, digital design competitions, and Soldier touchpoints.