Planning for affordable and efficient continuous advancement
As innovative technology and design are developed for FVL, ease and affordable maintenance and upgrades need to be addressed at the forefront to ensure continuous advancement and overmatch of FVL fleets. This may include easily deployed software upgrades, advanced data and analytics technology or on-wing maintenance and component replacement capabilities. As well as – perhaps the most critical piece to sustainment – collaboration with proven experts to constantly assess and iterate on design and capability to stay a step (or several) ahead. That means building roadmaps now to avoid costly or inefficient updates in the future and securing a full range of training capabilities to keep the modern warfighter properly equipped.
While the Army works towards the completion of FVL platforms, there are distinct opportunities to apply FVL innovations to the enduring fleet now using data, digital technology and advanced electric solutions to drive more intelligent, autonomous and connected operations across domains.
For example, our enhanced Reliability Stabilizer Actuator (RESA) flight control system upgrade for the Black Hawk features significantly fewer wear components with 10x improvement in mean time between failures (MTBF). Collins is also invested in the Army’s emerging Future Embedded Rotorcraft Sustainment Technologies (FERST) program to advance integrated health management solutions. We currently supply HUMS systems for the Army’s Black Hawks and Chinooks that have a 20-year history of proven increases in fleet readiness and safety while saving maintenance resources. Our new PHMS and Smart Sensing Systems (S3) are lightweight, scalable health management systems designed to enable real-time evaluation of an aircraft’s condition, taking advantage of edge computing, ultrasonic and fiber optic technologies to complement traditional health monitoring capabilities.