The Vertical Lift Industrial Base: Outlook 2004-2014
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INDUSTRIAL POLICY ARLINGTON VA
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This report expands and updates important analysis done in the Department in 2001 as a result of Nunn-McCurdy breaches in major helicopter programs. Since then, companies affected by Nunn-McCurdy breaches have made major improvements in manufacturing processes and cost control. However, questions remain as to the innovativeness of this industrial base and its ability to design the manned and unmanned rotorcraft required for transformational systems-of-systems such as the Future Combat System FCS and Sea Power 21. These concepts will use vertical lift assets in new roles and demand innovation not currently produced by the defense industrial base. The Department has major near-term opportunities to stimulate the innovative potential in this industrial base if it chooses to break the paradigm of returning to legacy platforms for new requirements. The Air Force faces an opportunity to stimulate this innovation and new platform design potential through its acquisition of personnel recovery, Air Force Space Command, and Air Mobility Command vertical lift aircraft requirements. The Army and Navy should also challenge the vertical lift industrial base to develop futuristic concepts for the manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft associated with FCS and Sea Basing. The Military Services commitment to answer 21st century capability requirements with 21st century designs will inspire investments in these areas. Science and technology investments in vertical lift are imperative to foster development of new platforms that will be essential enablers of the new functional capabilities required for 21st century American warfare.
- Pilotless Aircraft