Army Chief of Staff General James McConville told an audience in April that the Army will need to continue upgrading its existing combat helicopters for decades to come, because they are likely to remain in service through mid-century. In the case of two of them–the Apache attack helicopter and the Chinook cargo helicopter–there is no formal plan for a replacement. In the case of the ubiquitous Black Hawk utility helicopter, there is a planned successor, but it will take decades to replace even half of the Black Hawk fleet. The Army therefore needs to think through what additional enhancements the aviation branch will need, and Congress needs to budget appropriately to assure the whole force stays current with emerging threats and technology. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: