USA: will the future reconnaissance and attack helicopter also replace the AH-64 Apaches?
It could replace half of the Army fleet
The US Army is considering the idea of using the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) not only to replace the Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, but also about half of the Boeing AH-64 Apache in use. An attempt to equip the Army with new generation technologies but at the same time it will remain side by side with that of the "dated" Apaches that will remain in the fleet for heavy attack tasks while the FARA will be used for armed reconnaissance in the operational theater, replacing the AH-64 in many of the tasks currently performed. Giving what will be the future US aircraft this role will be important also to allow the development of a new heavy attack helicopter, which can thus retire from 2048 all the AH-64E Apaches that will remain in use by the army.
In the FARA competition there will be Boeing-Lockheed Martin with the SB>1 Defiant, which has recently completed the maiden flight (see AVIONEWS), and Bell with the V-280 Valor tiltrotor. To meet the Army's needs, a helicopter will be needed that can be used at greater distances than the current one, carrying a payload of weapons higher than current standards, especially if the FARA will also replace part of the AH-64 Apache.
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