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Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft

Shaping the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft 

The Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) is being purpose-designed to meet the U.S. Army’s need for a modern, highly capable observation, utility and direct-fire rotorcraft with the ability to quickly establish dominance on the battlefield. Part of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of solutions, FARA is a top modernization priority for Army Aviation.

With the FVL program, the Army will develop five mission-specific rotorcraft with common engines, avionics and other systems to ensure interoperability, improve logistics and maintenance efficiency, and reduce costs. The program will use new technology, materials and designs to create aircraft that can fly faster and farther than any rotorcraft out there today. 

What is the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft? 

The Army’s attack-observation a role is currently performed by the AH-64 Apache, which took over scout-reconnaissance duties when the OH-58 Kiowa was retired in 2016 after close to 50 years of service, extending back to Vietnam. The Apache has been in service since 1984 as the Army’s primary first-day attack helicopter, a role the multipurpose FARA is poised to assume.

New FARA helicopters will be more agile, maneuverable, reliable, and easier and cheaper to maintain than the AH-64. This will enable American forces to reclaim attack-reconnaissance dominance with dramatic improvements in performance, agility, reach, survivability and sustainability. FARA will help the Army to fulfill its mission as part of any transregional, multi-domain and multifunctional force.

The Army has selected two highly capable and experienced aerospace industry teams to develop concepts for the FVL family, including the FARA. A team led by Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing is proposing the  Bell Helicopter is proposing the Raider X® for the Army’s consideration while a team from      Bell Helicopter is offering up the 360 Invictus helicopter.


Honeywell technologies improve rotorcraft capabilities

From powerful, efficient turbine engines to avionics, safety and communications systems, Honeywell technologies have been improving the performance of military helicopters for generations. The company has proposed multiple technologies for the FVL and FARA initiatives.

For example, Honeywell cockpit displays put volumes of information at the fingertips of military pilots, providing them with unprecedented levels of situational awareness to enhance warfighter safety and improve operational efficiency. We also provide hazard avoidance systems, navigation and guidance systems, 3D weather radar, and fast, reliable satellite communications systems to provide the kind of connectivity armies need in the fully connected battlespace.

Our Army helicopter experience extends to the Boeing AH-64 Apache. We’ve helped keep this veteran warrior relevant with technology upgrades including auxiliary power units (APUs), Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) navigation technology and electric power systems.

Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is a Honeywell strong suit and a priority for the Army. We helped develop Health and Usage Maintenance System (HUMS) technology for rotorcraft more than three decades ago and bring unparalleled connectivity capabilities that will help the Army advance CBM to the next level. HUMS is being used on both the Defiant and Raider demonstrators today.

Honeywell can access more datapoints on the aircraft than ever before and we’ve got the expertise to use that data to formulate predictive maintenance trends, create usage-based maintenance models and deliver a sleeker, more efficient approach to maintenance. A CBM approach enables longer maintenance intervals, reduces downtime and improves mission effectiveness.

FARA is key to the Army’s drive to modernize its vertical lift fleet and provide servicemembers with the capabilities they need to succeed on the battlefield of the future. Honeywell’s unique portfolio of capabilities will help the Army and the industry team it selects design, launch and sustain the next generation of helicopter that meets all requirements. 

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