skip to main content

USSOCOM looks to upgrade A/MH-6s following FARA cancellation

Following FARA's cancellation, the Boeing MH-6 Little Bird is due to soldier on with USSOCOM for the foreseeable future. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has shed light on how the organisation proposes to replace the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) in its acquisition schedule following the US Army's cancellation of the programme in February.

Addressing delegates at the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Week 2024 conference in Tampa, Florida, on 7 May, Program Executive Officer for Rotary Wing (PEO-RW) Steve Smith illustrated USSOCOM's ‘SOF Rotary Wing Platform Roadmap', which showed a large question mark over a faded silhouette of FARA, which was scheduled to enter service in 2034.

“When the army cancelled the FARA programme, that changed our equation because that was going to become the armed platform that would take the role of the AH-6. And now we don't have that solution available, so we're going to be sustaining those aircraft for a long time. That means there are going to be multiple modifications to that platform in the future,” Smith said.

As a result, Smith outlined demands for “additional performance” of the AH-6 before he said, “There's not a tremendous amount of work that we can do with that platform, given the constraints of the size of its rotor disc. We have looked at doing some electrification work, but unfortunately, I just don't think the funding's there to support that. That could have brought some additional capability.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...