Like every other modernization program in the
"The budget environment is very difficult," said
The helicopter modernization effort known as "future vertical lift" got under way in 2009. The goal is to design and build a family of helicopters that would replace the current fleet of Black Hawks, Apaches and Chinooks by 2030. Analysts have estimated the program could be worth up to
Helicopter manufacturers have regarded the future vertical lift project, or FVL, as one of the few remaining opportunities in the military rotorcraft market. But the reality for contractors is that while FVL appears to have heavy backing from the
Gonzalez said the military services are fighting to protect the research dollars in their budgets for the "joint multirole rotorcraft" technology demonstration, which is the first phase of FVL.
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