The US Army on 23 April awarded contracts to five contractor teams for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype (FARA-CP) programme, according to a service statement.
AVX Aircraft-L3 Technologies, Bell, Boeing, Karem Aircraft, and Sikorsky were awarded other transaction authority (OTA) for prototype agreement deals. The contracts are for aircraft design, build, and test.
Sikorsky said it would continue flying its S-97 Raider to inform the company’s clean sheet offering for the US Army’s FARA-CP effort. (Sikorsky)
US Army spokesperson Sarah Tate said on 24 April that the service will downselect to two contractor teams in March 2020. The period of performance for these OTA contracts run through fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023), although not all teams will continue through that period.
Tate said companies must have aircraft ready to fly by November 2022. Both prototypes that are downselected, she said, will conduct flight testing at the same time in 2023.
Based on the outcome, the prototyping, and the test effort, the US Army will potentially select one performer and design to move forward into a final integration and qualification effort for production and fielding in 2028. FARA-CP is one of the smaller capability sets in the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) next-generation aircraft platform initiative.
Boeing spokesperson Alicia Francis on 24 April acknowledged the company was selected for the prototyping stage of FARA CP but declined to provide details about its offer. The company is also teaming with Sikorsky on the medium-class SB>1 Defiant for the army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme.