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US Army reviews contenders for FTUAS Increment 2

Insitu displayed its Integrator EX unmanned aircraft at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 conference, held from 10 to 12 October in Washington, DC. Unlike catapult-launched variants of the Integrator, the Integrator EX has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) booms. (Janes/Marc Selinger)

The US Army is evaluating industry ideas for its Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Increment 2 and expects to decide in a few months which companies will participate in the programme's prototyping phase, according to the service's Program Executive Office for Aviation (PEO Aviation).

The army's Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium requested Increment 2 white papers from industry in October 2021, and the service plans to award “other transaction authority” (OTA) contracts to “multiple” vendors in the second quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2023, which runs from January to March, a PEO Aviation spokesperson told Janes on 20 October. The vendors that receive OTAs will provide prototypes for a competition that is intended to lead to a “fieldable solution” in FY 2025.

The unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) vying for Increment 2 are believed to include the AeroVironment Jump 20, Insitu Integrator Expeditionary (EX), L3Harris Technologies FVR-90, Shield AI V-Bat, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Voly Tactical (Voly-T), and Textron Systems Aerosonde Hybrid Quadrotor (HQ).

The Increment 2 programme is running separately from FTUAS Increment 1, which announced its selection of AeroVironment's Jump 20 in August. AeroVironment delivered the first Jump 20 for Increment 1 in September, and a company official said on 7 October that the army would begin testing the equipment “very shortly”. The army could buy up to seven additional Jump 20 systems for Increment 1.

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