ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Marine Corps plan to develop future replacements for its rotary-wing aircraft is evolving into a concept called VTOL FOS, or Vertical Take-off and Landing Family of Systems, a senior U.S. official said. Corps Aviation.
Brig. Gen. Matthew Mowery, deputy deputy commander for aviation, speaking Feb. 9 at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Expeditionary Warfare Conference, said the Corps’ plans to replace its AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters at the The future has evolved through several iterations over the past few years, especially as Commander General David Berger’s Force Design 2030 was introduced.
Mowery said the initial effort was focused on participating in the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, specifically its Capability Set 3. As the various services branched out, the Corps effort Marines became the attack-utility replacement aircraft, or AURA.
Mowery said the Corps “started thinking differently” about the AURA with the emergence of Force Design 2030, and has now integrated the AURA into the VTOL FOS. Data generated from the Marine Corps Future Vertical Lift Alternatives Analysis, which was completed in 2019, provided the foundation for the analysis and development of the capability development document. The Marine Corps issued a request for information in September 2019 and an “agency general announcement for the introduction of advanced technologies in model-based systems engineering and condition monitoring in 2020,” said the Corps in the information provided to sea power.
The VTOL FOS program “will develop one or more weapon systems that will address capability and performance gaps identified by the Marine Corps,” the Corps said. sea power in November 2021. “The VTOL family of systems will be designed for optimal staffing and crewed and uncrewed crew with the MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary Capability. Additionally, it will include a common mission system architecture to enable interoperability across the MAGTF. The Marine Corps conduct requirement is an attached escort into tomorrow’s battlespace during dispatched expeditionary operations from the sea. Speed, maneuver envelope, all-weather capability and survivability will facilitate the full integration of this aircraft into the MAGTF. To achieve these goals, the VTOL family of systems will operate above legacy helicopter performance attributes such as airspeeds, combat range, altitude and endurance with a full payload.
“The VTOL family of systems program will require comparable mission radius and loiter time to match the MV-22Bs, as well as on-station time to support distributed air combat element operations,” the Corps said. “The VTOL family of systems will have a greater ability to employ a more diverse set of weapon systems and operate in a wider range of environments using fused integrated sensor data and terrain avoidance systems. Amphibious operations and onboard compatibility will be a key attribute of this air vehicle.