The US Department of Defense has installed a 90-day deadline on a months-long US Army/US Air Force stand-off over the purchase of potentially hundreds of new light transport aircraft.
Both services will work during the three-month window to fuse the requirements for the army’s Future Cargo Aircraft (FCA) and the air force’s Light Cargo Aircraft (LCA) into a common programme.
Defining joint requirements has proven problematic for many defence programmes, but army leaders are plainly encouraged that this process will result in an agreement on a single airframe to perform light transport missions to the forward edge of the battlefield.
“I believe we’re going to come to an agreement that we can come up with a common aircraft for this mission,” says Brig Gen Stephen Mundt, director of the Army Aviation Task Force.
The process is a turning point for the long-awaited release of a request for proposals for the army’s FCA programme, delayed since October.
Within army aviation, the review is expected to have little impact on plans to buy 33 aircraft over the next five years for $1.3 billion.