The US Army has awarded five Rapid Prototyping Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) as part of the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Increment 2 (INC 2) competition.
The awards are based on the results of a competitive evaluation and vary from ~$1 million to $25 million depending on how far the Project Agreement Holder (PAH) progresses through the base and option periods.
Recipients of the OTAs include:
- Griffon Aerospace
- Northrop Grumman
- Sierra Nevada Corporation
- Textron Systems
As a Future Vertical Lift program, the FTUAS is the Army’s premier Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) UAS modernization effort. INC 2 requirements include runway independence, point take-off and landing, and a rapidly deployable UAS capability.
The aim of the FTUAS INC 2 is to provide a distinct tactical advantage over current systems due to increased maneuverability through VTOL, improved command and control supported by the On-the-Move (OTM) capability, a reduced transportation and logistics footprint, as well as significantly improved survivability due to reduced noise signature.
The FTUAS INC 2 also aims to improve the brigade combat team’s ability to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations that collect, develop, and report actionable intelligence information about the enemy in degraded Global Positioning System environments.
“FTUAS will revolutionize the way our Soldiers fight and win wars by providing enhanced Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition with unparalleled speed and agility,” said COL Danielle Medaglia, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Manager.
The FTUAS INC 2 Program leverages lessons-learned from previous efforts including a prior year-long FTUAS demonstration, to field an FTUAS meeting the Army Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document (A-CDD) requirements. INC 2 will also continue to inform the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities, and policy requirements leading to a follow-on production and fielding effort.
The INC 2 effort consists of five distinct development phases including a base and four option periods occurring between 2023 and 2025. The FTUAS Rapid Prototyping effort will utilize Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and other digital engineering techniques to implement the government’s Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). The use of MBSE and MOSA enables FTUAS INC 2 to maintain alignment with the UAS Family of Systems and higher-level system architectures. INC 2 promotes robust competition and innovation to achieve A-CDD requirements and support the Army decision for a program of record system.
After a series of design reviews in the Base through Option 2 periods, the remaining PAHs will demonstrate their capabilities through flight demonstrations and Third-Party MOSA verification activities in Option 3.
In Option 4, the remaining PAH will deliver four each air vehicles, mission system packages, payload packages, ground controllers, and two OTM controllers, all required maintenance tools and manuals, and all necessary ground support equipment for qualification testing and operational assessment. These systems will undergo numerous evaluation activities such as environmental testing, electromagnetic environmental effects testing, MOSA verification, and flight qualification testing conducted at PAH and government test facilities.
The Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium released the FTUAS INC 2 Request for White Papers on 1 October 2021. The PEO Aviation FTUAS team conducted a technical evaluation of the submissions in preparation for these rapid prototyping effort awards.