Updated Aircraft Critical to Future Army Success

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Updated Aircraft Critical to Future Army Success

The Army must continue the work it has begun to update its fleet of helicopters with aircraft that can fly further and faster across the future battlefield, several top Army aviation experts said.

“Modernization is an imperative,” Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, Aviation program executive officer, said March 17 as he appeared on a panel during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Next virtual conference. 

“I don't see it as a choice,” Barrie said. “It’s a matter of us prioritizing those efforts.”

Army Aviation Remains in High Demand

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Army Aviation Remains in High Demand

The demand for Army aviation will continue to grow beyond current requirements, which are already high, said Maj. Gen. David Francis, commander of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Alabama.

"The demand for aviation is as high as it ever has been and is not getting lower," he said.

Francis made his remarks during a presentation on the Army’s Future Vertical Lift modernization efforts Oct. 16 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition. 

Army Has No Problem Recruiting Pilots

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Army Has No Problem Recruiting Pilots

The Army aviation director says a little time and more resources will resolve a pilot shortfall.

Short about 700 pilots for at least two years, the Army is not having any problems recruiting new aviators but needs to increase training capacity to get them ready, said Brig. Gen. Michael McCurry, who was assigned as aviation director earlier this year in the office of the deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training.

Army Aviation Being Reshaped for the Future

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Army Aviation Being Reshaped for the Future

New aircraft, new training regimens and new formations could be coming to Army aviation, said Maj. Gen. David Francis, the Fort Rucker and Army Aviation Center of Excellence commanding general.

Decade of Pilot Decline Has Reversed

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Decade of Pilot Decline Has Reversed

The decline in the number of Army pilots over the past decade has been reversed over the past 18 months with more predictable funding and newly authorized retention bonuses for mid- and senior-career aviators, the Army’s chief of aviation said.

Army Has Lowest Aviation Mishap Rate in 35 Years

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Army Has Lowest Aviation Mishap Rate in 35 Years

Army aviation incidents have dramatically declined, the director of Army Safety told Congress. In fiscal 2007, the Army had a Class A flight mishap rate of 2.39 mishaps per 100,000 flying hours. The rate for fiscal 2018 has dropped to .93 mishaps per 100,00 flying hours.

Concerns Raised Over Aviation Readiness

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Concerns Raised Over Aviation Readiness

Uncertain funding, coupled with the high demand for aviation assets for training and operations, has raised concerns about the Army’s aviation readiness.

Bell, Sikorsky Compete to Replace Black Hawk

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Bell, Sikorsky Compete to Replace Black Hawk

While the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter will remain a mainstay of Army vertical-lift aviation for years to come, plans are afoot to develop its replacement. While the new aircraft is probably 20 years away from a production-line startup, prospective contractors have distinct ideas about how it would look and perform.