The US Army has announced that it is cancelling its next generation Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, this brings an end to years of development for a high speed armed scout aircraft replacement.

Sikorsky and Bell had been competing for the FARA contract, with the Raider X and Invictus 360, respectively. At the end of 2023 both two companies had taken delivery of the GE T901 engine allowing both companies to predict ground runs of their aircraft followed by first flights by the end of 2024.

“We are learning from the battlefield—especially in Ukraine—that aerial reconnaissance has fundamentally changed,” said the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Randy George. “Sensors and weapons mounted on a variety of unmanned systems and in space are more ubiquitous, further reaching, and more inexpensive than ever before. I am confident the Army can deliver for the Joint Force, both in the priority theater and around the globe, by accelerating innovation, procurement and fielding of modern unmanned aircraft systems, including the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, Launched Effects, and commercial small unmanned aircraft systems.”

In addition, the Army plans to end production on the UH-60 V Black Hawk due to significant cost growth and Delay entering production of the Improved Turbine Engine (ITEP) to ensure adequate time to integrate it with AH-64 and UH-60 platforms.

With the money saved from the FRA cancellation the Army will continue to investment in the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, and make new investments in UH-60 Blackhawk, and CH-47F Block II Chinook. The Army is also intending to phase out operations of systems that are not capable or survivable on today’s battlefield including the Shadow and Raven unmanned aircraft systems.