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US Army announces FVL collaboration with Netherlands following similar UK deal

Sikorsky's Defiant X is one of the competitors in the US Army's FLRAA competition. The Netherlands is “looking into the future” as it upgrades its current helicopter fleet. (Sikorsky-Boeing)

The US Army and the Netherlands Ministry of Defence signed the ‘Future Rotorcraft Concept Analysis Project Arrangement' on 20 July to expand Future Vertical Lift (FVL) and other modernisation collaboration efforts.

The two countries will share information on the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) as well other Pentagon initiatives such as future unmanned aerial systems and modular open systems architecture.

“Everybody's seeing it now in Ukraine, the importance of an alliance coming together,” Douglas Bush, assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology at the US Army, told reporters. “And then we have to fight together, and being able to do that starts with agreements like this, that leads to interoperability, our joint force and democracies working together.”

The announcement comes as the US Army is expected to reveal the winner of its FLRAA competition, a face-off between the Sikorsky Defiant X and the Bell V-280 Valor, in the next few months. The new arrangement will focus on “interoperability” regardless of which aircraft is chosen for the FLRAA and FARA competitions, according to the US Army.

The two countries plan to meet semi-annually at the general-officer level for the rotorcraft collaboration.

The agreement “allows us to talk requirements and allows us to talk science and technology”, said Major General Walter ‘Wally'Rugen, US Army Futures Command's FVL Cross-Functional Team director. “And so, we don't have to talk around subjects, we can follow through on the trust [that] has been built for decades with army aviation.”

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