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AUSA 2015: US Army 'rapidly' moving ahead with helo DVE solution

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by Zarvan, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    A US Army UH-60 Black Hawk landing in brownout conditions in Afghanistan. The army is testing a variety of technologies to mitigate brownout and other DVEs and expects to release an RfP for a solution in 2017. Source: US Army
    Key Points
    • The army plans to release a RfP in 2017 for technology to help helicopter pilots navigate in DVEs
    • DVE incidents in theatre over a 13-year period had a material cost of just under USD1 billion, so a solution could provide a significant impact
    The US Army plans to release a request for proposals (RfP) in 2017 for technology that will help its helicopter pilots navigate degraded visual environments (DVEs), the service's project manager for aviation systems said during a 12 October briefing at the Association of the US Army's annual conference in Washington, DC.

    "An RfP is planned for [fiscal year] 2017," said Colonel Mathew Hannah. He said a limited user test is planned for 2016 to assist in assessing technology readiness levels, and a formal request for information (RfI) to industry is planned in the coming months.

    "We are rapidly moving forward with the requirement," he added.

    Senior army aviation leaders have said they want to accelerate development of technology designed to enhance safety for helicopters operating in DVEs. Major General Michael Lundy, commander of the US Army Aviation Center of Excellence, has said he does not want to wait until 2035 for the technology, referring to the goal for fielding a new family of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) rotorcraft.

    DVEs include smoke, fog, rain, darkness, and brownout. The effects are a leading contributor to rotorcraft accidents and reduced operational effectiveness, according to the army. DVE incidents in theatre over a 13-year period had a material cost of just under USD1 billion, according to Col Hannah, so a solution would save significant money for the army.

    Army officials see the ultimate DVE solution as a 'three-legged stool' composed of sensors and sensor fusion, flight controls, and landing symbology in the cockpit. There are, however, many technologies within those elements, including missile warning, ground fire acquisition, pilotage, multifunction imaging, and data processing.

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    AUSA 2015: US Army 'rapidly' moving ahead with helo DVE solution - IHS Jane's 360