Army approves FTUAS requirements

By Ethan Sterenfeld / August 17, 2021 at 5:23 PM

The Army Requirements Oversight Council has approved a set of requirements for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, according to the Future Vertical Lift Cross Cross-Functional Team.

AROC approved the Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document today, which will allow the service to enter a rapid prototyping phase on the program to replace the Textron RQ-7B Shadow drone. AROC did not mandate any changes to the A-CDD.

The FTUAS is designed to perform reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting assistance. It is supposed to have a smaller acoustic signature and fly in worse weather than the Shadow, and it will not require a runway.

The Army completed a test and demonstration in March that included drones from Textron, Arcturus, L3Harris and Martin, which followed a yearlong soldier touchpoint with the drones.

A full-rate production decision on the FTUAS, at which point the Army would choose a competitor, is scheduled for fiscal year 2024. The service included $79 million for the program in an unfunded priorities list sent to Congress this year, and officials have said fielding could be delayed without the funding.