Fixed Wing Utility Aircraft (FUA)
The Fixed Wing Utility Aircraft (FUA) is a nearly all-weather platform that will facilitate movement of key personnel and equipment across the operational spectrum, in both day and night, utilizing both improved and semi-improved runways. Mission profiles, asymmetric battle lines, and complex terrain will shape airspace and will subject the FUA to a broad range of threats. The FUA will provide air movement of key personnel; support to homeland defense/security operations; support to civil authorities/and Operational Support Airlift (OSA) in support of Major Commands (MACOM) and State requirements by incorporating up to date technologies. The FUA will be a technologically advanced aircraft with Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE), civil and military communication, navigation, and surveillance systems allowing world-wide operations.
The Army has a requirement for organic fixed-wing utility aircraft to perform Operational Support Airlift (OSA) missions to provide Army Forces Commanders flexibility in meeting time-sensitive movements of key personnel and equipment. This requirement was re-validated in 2010 as part of the Army's Fixed Wing Aviation Capability Portfolio Review. Service organic OSA is embedded in Joint doctrine as one of the five basic airlift missions and is also recognized in Department of Defense (DoD) Directives and policy. For years the Army has utilized C-12, C-26 and UC-35 fixed-wing utility aircraft to provide commanders with flexibility in meeting key personnel time-sensitive transport requirements.
By October 2012 the Army was refining an initial capabilities document for a new fixed-wing utility aircraft that was designed to replace more than 112 airframes with a common platform. The new platform should be able to perform a range of key mission sets and services. PM Fixed-Wing, established in October 2011, was stood up to create a central hub to manage the Army's fleet of fixed-wing aircraft. As many as 37 different fixed-wing aircraft programs are now consolidated and centrally managed under the purview of the project office.
It is anticipated the Army will continue to operate a mixed fleet medium-range jet powered fixed wing and the FUA to meet operational requirements throughout the full range of military operations. However, the C-12 / C-26 fleet, which comprises the majority of the OSA fleet, is aging and range limited. Increased maintenance costs, combined with required civil and military upgrades which decrease useful payload inhibit operations. In addition, most aircraft are approaching the end of their economic useful life. These factors support the requirement for an aircraft retirement and replacement plan. The oldest C-12 the Army flies is 40 years old. Trailing close behind is a 33-year-old EO-5 aircraft. These aircraft, and others, are fast approaching the end of their life cycle and will need to be replaced.
In 2011, a Cost-Benefit Analysis (C-BA) was performed in support of the Fixed Wing Utility Aircraft (FUA) Initial Capability Document (ICD). The FUA C-BA determined that procurement of a new fixed wing utility aircraft provides the best value in the long term and is the only way to fully meet the capability gaps. To avoid the significant cost of pending civil and military equipment upgrades to the current fleet, procurement of new fixed wing utility aircraft should begin no later than 2017.
The Program Executive Office for Aviation, United States Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, anticipated a potential requirement for up to 92 aircraft to replace the United States Army's C-12 and C-26 Operational Support Aircraft. The government drafted a FUA Performance Work Statement (PWS) and Product Description Document (PDD).
The requirement states the FUA must be certified IAW Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 21; commercial in nature, currently in production, and capable of being modified to include military communications, navigation, surveillance, and survivability equipment. The RFI W58RGZ14FUA is modified to continue the market research process for the Fixed Wing Utility Aircraft (FUA). This is not a solicitation for proposals and no contract shall be awarded from this announcement.
Performance specifications included a service ceiling of no less than 35,000 ft (above mean sea-level), a high speed cruise airspeed of no less than 275 kt, a maximum payload of no less than 2,700 lb (1,225 kg), and a ferry flight range of at least 2,400 n miles with a 45 min fuel reserve.
The cargo area must accommodate and or be reconfigurable to provide 55 cubic feet of storage space for 600 pounds of equipment, for multiple type loads and have tie down points to secure luggage and equipment. The cargo door must have an opening equal to or greater than fifty-two (52) inches wide by fifty-two (52) inches high and meet FAA minimum performance standards (FAR Part 23.787) to facilitate the loading and unloading of equipment. (O): The cargo area must accommodate 90 cubic feet of space providing storage for 900 pounds of equipment with tie down points to secure luggage and equipment. Cargo door requirement remains the same.
Open Systems Architecture (OSA) is both a business and technical integrated strategy for developing a new system and/or modernizing an existing system that: employs a modular design; defines key interfaces and uses certified conformant products. In the case of FUA, OSA refers to the requirement for avionic systems being designed and/or integrated with a strategy that allows both civil GATM and military capabilities/requirements to interface on the same system. Federated architecture is another frequently used term that describes a system that allows interoperability and information sharing between multiple autonomous database systems into a single federated database, i.e., MFD.
Airworthiness must be certifiable by either another nation's civil certification recognized by the FAA, or IAW the Support for Military Commercial Derivative Aircraft Federal Reimbursable Agreement between the Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The FUA must maintain an individual aircraft (A/C) Materiel Availability (Am) of 80% across the fleet. Objective (O): The FUA must maintain an individual A/C Am of ninety percent (90%) across the fleet. This value is to be maintained in all operational environments.
The FUA must be capable of self-deploying over extended ranges. The threshold FUA, with a minimum of nine (9) passenger seats, 2 crewmembers and their personal baggage (400 lbs max), must be capable of self-deploying over an un-refueled distance of 2,400 NM and land with a 45 minute fuel reserve. If additional, internal, aircraft fuel tanks are installed, they must be completely removed and the FUA configured to FMC (intra-theater requirements) within eight (8) hours after arrival at the deployment destination. The Objective FUA is fully mission capable aircraft-nine seats installed-with 2 crewmembers and their personal baggage, must be capable of self-deploying over an un-refueled distance of 2,400 NM and land with a 45 minute fuel reserve. The crewmembers baggage weight must not exceed four hundred (400) pounds.
The threshold FUA fully mission capable aircraft, with 2 crewmembers, must fly without refueling, 1,200 NM while transporting 9 passengers with equipment, for a cabin payload of at least 2,700 pounds and land with a 45 minute fuel reserve. The Objective FUA is a fully mission capable aircraft, with 2 crewmembers, must fly without refueling, 2,400 NM while transporting 9 passengers with equipment, for a cabin payload of at least 2,700 pounds and land with a 45 minute fuel reserve.