US services battle over future helicopter priorities

US Marine Corps officials are seeking clarity from their army counterparts over the latter’s priorities for the Future Vertical Lift helicopter programme, as the service eyes the long-term replacement of its Bell UH-1Y fleet.

FVL is meant to fulfil the future requirements of all four US services, but negotiations will be necessary to align each operator’s replacement timelines.

The USMC is most interested in a medium-class FVL rotorcraft to replace its fleet of Bell UH-1Y Venoms in the 2040s, said Col David Walsh, the service’s H-1 programme manager, speaking at SMI’s Helicopter Technology Eastern and Central Europe conference.

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