The US Navy steps into the throttle towards a bionic future with a reinvigorated MH-60S and a bold look into the FVL universe.
The US Navy MH-60S Immortal: Specters of Heaven to 2040
Envision a scenario where the US Navy’s MH-60S Seahawks remain titans of the sky in the 2040s. This is the fascinating tapestry the Navy is weaving, even considering a bold bet on Futures Vertical Lift Capacities (FVL).
The secret weapon is a sole-supplier contract with Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems, the MH-60S craftsmen keen to infuse these aerial leviathans with vitality. A critical point on the calendar is April 2026, the D-day for this adventure. On top of the omnipotent MH-60S, helicopters are envisioned flying gallantly well into 2040, thanks to a meticulous SLEP and a foolproof preventive maintenance regimen.
US Navy SLEP: A Phoenix on the Horizon
Soon, the 253 active MH-60S flying colossi will receive the rejuvenating breath of SLEP. This is announced directly from the Navy bridge through her spokeswoman Megan Wasel.
The SLEP focuses primarily on the longevity of the airframe structure and electrical wiring, which translates into a more robust existence for the MH-60S fleet and an expansion of its current capabilities.
US Navy Future Alternatives: Scanning the FVL Horizon
The Navy looks beyond the legacy, contemplating the cradle of a successor. A comprehensive report on FVL alternatives for a future maritime attack is ready to be displayed on the military strategy board.
Wasel revealed, “The final report on the FVL Maritime Strike Alternatives Analysis was delivered during the second quarter of FY-23 for a comprehensive review.”
The Pentagon is examining a new analysis of alternatives, a fact highlighted by Rear Admiral Andrew Loiselle, director of air warfare, at a recent hearing.
The Future Deployment of FVL: Imperative for the Evolution of Forces
Navy officials stressed the urgency of betting on FVL platforms, a prerequisite for advancement by both the Navy and the Marine Corps. But, with a catch: The Navy is about five years behind the Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program.
The Marine Corps is immersed in the world of future vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems, eager to model its requirements for this exciting new technology.
Stephen Lightfoot, director of the Marine Corps Directorate of Combat Development, states, “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the VTOL family of systems. We are trying to figure out what is next on the horizon to replace our current fleet.”
Marines and the Airborne Logistics of the Future: A Focus on Unmanned Platforms
The Marines are embarking on the adventure of future VTOL systems, exploring the possibilities of manned, unmanned, or even an amalgamation of both.
The Marine Corps 2023 force design update mentions a study to identify potential sustainability gaps in aviation units in expeditionary forward base operations.
The future of airborne logistics is bright, with the Marine Corps banking on a greater reliance on unmanned platforms, according to Lightfoot.