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US Army releases Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competitive prototype solicitation

04 October 2018
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Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider could be an entrant in the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competitive prototype (FARA CP) competition. Source: Sikorsky

Key Points

  • The US Army has released its solicitation for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • The solicitation could prove quite lucrative as the army expects to procure up to 500 aircraft

The US Army on 3 October released its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competitive prototype (FARA CP) solicitation that anticipates a production quantity of up to 500 aircraft.

FARA CP also expects first flight of a demonstrator aircraft by 2024 and initial operational capability (IOC) by production aircraft by 2028, according to a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website. FARA CP funds an effort to design, build, and test a FARA in an operationally relevant environment. The results of this will support a decision to enter into a formal programme of record for subsequent full system integration, qualification, and production as a rapid acquisition.

FARA CP will be executed in a phased approach. In Phase 1, the initial set of performers, or companies that are direct recipients of the operational test (OT) agreement, will be given nine months to develop preliminary designs and provide the government with the data insight required for it to downselect.

This downselect may be two or more performers depending on funding available for Phase 2 after an initial design and risk review (ID&RR) based on which technical solutions present the most advantageous outcome to the army. This downselect is expected for third quarter of fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020). The anticipated award date for funding instruments in Phases 1-2 is around June 2019.

Using initial design and approach data, the most advantageous outcome will be determined by an overall assessment using the following criteria: re-application of the initial evaluation criteria to additional information developed during the initial design period; cost and schedule performance to date; an updated cost proposal and work plan for Phase 2; and the degree of demonstrated collaboration and data sharing, with appropriate rights, with the army.

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