FARA discontinued as U.S. Army overhauls aviation planNews
February 09, 2024
WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Army will discontinue its Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) development program and focus on the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and updates to existing helicopter models in a major shift in strategy, the service announced in a statement.
The war in Ukraine provided lessons to leadership that prompted some of the shifts, according to the statement.
"We are learning from the battlefield—especially in Ukraine—that aerial reconnaissance has fundamentally changed,” Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy George said. “Sensors and weapons mounted on a variety of unmanned systems and in space are more ubiquitous, further reaching, and more inexpensive than ever before."
The Army plans to phase out older, less effective systems like the Shadow and Raven unmanned aircraft systems, while ramping up investments in advanced unmanned aerial reconnaissance technologies and the procurement of commercial small unmanned systems. This move aims to enhance capabilities and survivability on the battlefield, the Army says.
Other key changes include discontinuing production of the UH-60V Blackhawk variant, and delaying the production of the Improved Turbine Engine (ITEP). Conversely, the Army will begin a new contract to procure the UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter and officially commence production of the CH-47F Block II Chinook, the statement reads.