2017 The Future of Military Rotorcraft

'New Challenges Ahead'

Future of Military Rotorcraft

The Future of Military Rotorcraft Conference examined how new military rotorcraft are being designed beyond traditional lines to increase their performance particularly in range, speed and altitude. The conference also looked at the integration of mission systems for deployment in a rapidly changing defence environment. While the United States Department of Defense (DoD) should have its first flying platform technology demonstrations of industry’s proposed new Joint Multi-Role (JMR) aircraft in Q4 2017, any new type that is identified for Future Vertical Lift (Capability Set 3) will not reach front line service until the 2030s.

View the DSEI Strategic Conference Programme

Modern Challenges

The challenges for military rotorcraft today are many and varied. Most militaries now have fewer numbers of aircraft and fewer types than at the beginning of the millennium. Over the last decade there has been a major focus on asymmetric warfare and in particular operating in austere conditions. Industry has been challenged not least by U.S. Army Aviation to develop new platforms that will be able to prosecute their missions at a minimum altitude of 6,000 feet on a 95F-degree day (known as 6K/95).

The conflict in Syria and Iraq has seen a near return to linear, if not scattered, warfare rather than the asymmetric campaigns fought in Afghanistan. The growth of tension between nation states over geographical boundaries and maritime areas, notably in eastern European countries such as the Ukraine and the Baltics, as well as in the South and East China Seas, are increasing the number of challenges facing military rotorcraft operators.

The morning session of the conference set the scene of how military rotorcraft development is addressing future needs, as well the challenges facing today’s military operators. The need to be prepared for a variety of missions and delivering different capabilities - from roles as ISR platforms, through to attack, logistical supply and troop lift, to special missions - will be examined. Speakers will attend from the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command, the U.S. Army (the current acting lead on the JMR programme), NATO and other international military operators.

The afternoon session focused more on deployment challenges and mission equipment. It will include training for national and multi-national deployed operations and will examine some of the systems that are seen as key to modern helicopter operations, including networked communications and information sharing, overcoming degraded visual environments, new engine technology and more.

Topics Included:

  • Doctrine for Adaptation and Deployment of Military Rotorcraft in a Changing World
  • Joint Multi Role (JMR) Technology Demonstration Update
  • The Changing Role of Rotorcraft in an Uncertain World
  • Managing a Multi-Aircraft Fleet
  • Transforming an Existing Force
  • The Development of the ITEP Engine
  • Inflight Refueling for Helicopters - French Air Force H225M Operational Experience With  Multiple Refueling Platforms
  • The Integration of Unmanned Systems With Rotorcraft
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    Harriett Baldwin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    UK MOD
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    Royal Air Force
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    British Army
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    Royal Navy
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    UK Parliament
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    UK Parliament


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