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US Army's unfunded requirement request for FTUAS would accelerate fielding

A scaled-up version of Textron Systems' Aerosonde HQ UAV on display at the 2021 Association of the United States Army's annual trade show in Washington, DC. Textron Systems is offering this scaled-up Aerosonde HQ for FTUAS Increment 2. (Janes/Pat Host)

The US Army's USD79 million unfunded requirement request for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) in fiscal year (FY) 2022 would accelerate system fielding by two years.

US Army spokesman Jim Thomson said on 18 October that this money would field Increment 1, a capability of mature technologies, in FY 2023. The US Army requested this extra funding for Increment 1 because it is not in the service's FY 2022 budget request. Major General Walter Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, told Janes on 12 October that this USD79 million unfunded requirement request would provide FTUAS systems for eight brigades in Increment 1.

Thomson said Increment 2, previously known as the base programme, is in the US Army's FY 2022 budget request. It would get initial fielding in FY 2025. Increment 2 would satisfy the full FTUAS requirement and replace Increment 1-fielded systems in fulfilling the brigade combat team's requirement.

The projected award date for an Increment 1 other transaction authority award is 17 January 2022, with the first unit to be equipped in the third quarter of FY 2023. The service, for Increment 1, intends to have a follow-on production contract for a last unit to be equipped in the fourth quarter of FY 2023. An Increment 2 request for white papers was issued on 1 October by the Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium.

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