Wednesday, March 28, 2012

US Army To Launch JMR Mission-System Studies

Bids are due April 1 for trade studies to define the mission-system capabilities and technologies for the U.S. Army’s planned Joint Multi Role (JMR) rotorcraft.

The Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) is planning a two-phase JMR technology demonstration, beginning in fiscal 2013 with air-vehicle development and flight testing.

Mission-system development and testing are planned to begin two years later, in fiscal 2015, in recognition that electronics advance faster than airframes, rotors, engines and drive systems.

Phase 2 will kick off with the award of multiple contracts for mission-system effectiveness trades and analyses — equivalent to the air-vehicle configuration studies already under way at AVX Aircraft, Boeing, Bell-Boeing and Sikorsky.

As with the air-vehicle studies, mission-system bidders are being asked to identify those “game-changing” technologies that need maturing through flight demonstration to be ready for JMR full-scale development beginning early in the next decade. There are several supporting technology-development efforts under way this year. “We are having to do some things in parallel, which is not ideal,” says Keith Arnold, team lead for teaming and intelligence within AATD’s systems integration division.