Future Vertical Lift

Northrop Grumman is supporting the U.S. Army and other services as they modernize the aviation fleet. Together, we are ensuring that all enduring and future platforms can fly, fight and prevail in the Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO) environment.

What is Future Vertical Lift?

Whether performing transport, logistics, strike or reconnaissance duties, vertical lift aircraft greatly multiply the effectiveness of ground forces. They are a critical combat multiplier, as well as a lifeline in austere environments. Future Vertical Lift (FVL) will transform the Army Aviation fleet, bringing faster, more lethal and more survivable aircraft to the battlefield.

The FVL effort includes the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (FTUAS) for the Army, and the Attack Utility Replacement Aircraft (AURA) for the Marine Corps. These new aircraft will serve alongside the current fleet.

These new aircraft will require a fully integrated, open, safe and secure architecture that enables true multi-functionality of currently federated capabilities while providing the agility to rapidly iterate FVL’s mission and survivability systems to outpace the threat.

digital illustration of future aircraft

The Future of Vertical Lift is Here

It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide warfighters the most capable rotorcraft and associated systems as the Army and other services enhance, and eventually replace, their current helicopter fleets. Our technical knowledge is deep and built on decades of experience in protecting warfighters. And speaking of warfighters, the Northrop Grumman team includes pilots, crew chiefs, acquisition pros and maintainers. We know it because we’ve flown it.

Learn more about the Ten Things to Know about the Future of Vertical Lift
digital illustration of top view of future aircraft

Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) Capable Mission Systems

Northrop Grumman is uniquely positioned as a provider of proven integrated, open, multi-domain capabilities. As a current provider for JADO-capable systems, we are investing in reduced size weight and power (SWaP) and increased lethality and survivability technology. We are also focused on critical interoperability across all mission system domains, given the complexity of the FVL ecosystem. Our approach is inspired by the warfighter’s perspective and feedback, ensuring that the operational benefits are optimized for the end user.


MOSA and Multifunction Systems featuring Dennis Neel, Senior Director, Integrated Digital Systems at Northrop Grumman

Tthe Crows' Nest - Episode 10

Northrop Grumman Cyber Report: Cyber Survivability; Exercising w/ The Army

Defense & Aerospace Report - Cyber Report, sponsored by Northrop Grumman

Verifiable Open Mission Systems Architecture

A critical enabler to Future Vertical Lift’s JMDO capabilities will be an open, safe and secure digital backbone. Truly functioning as the nerve center of FVL aircraft, the backbone will connect all onboard systems to give operators an unprecedented level of situational awareness, survivability and control. At its core is a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) architecture. The Army is flying Northrop Grumman’s MOSA today on its UH-60V helicopter.

Northrop Grumman’s MOSA provides the freedom to choose the hardware and software systems that best meet customer needs, regardless of manufacturer. It provides a lasting path to relevance for FVL platforms by simplifying the upgrading and replacement of on-board electronics. Northrop Grumman’s experience with these proven systems is the foundation for what comes next.

Learn more about Digital Avionics

Critical Army Aviation Performance Through Scalable, Multifunction Solutions

Enhancing situational awareness, improving interoperability across platforms, adapting to emerging mission demands and securely distributing mission-critical information is essential in congested and contested environments. Northrop Grumman’s Re-Scalable Aperture for Precision Targeting Radar (RAPTR) – a scalable, multi-purpose, multifunction radio frequency (RF) sensor – is ready to provide these capabilities in support of crewed-uncrewed teaming and long-range precision fires for the DoD. The RAPTR product line leverages Northrop Grumman’s rich history of combat-proven RF sensors and decades of leadership in active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology to bring the next generation of battlefield sensing capabilities to the warfighter, across a variety of platforms.

illustration of military helicopter and aircraft over water
RAPTR’s increased battlefield sensing capabilities at Ku and Ka frequencies will improve lethality, survivability and targeting, enabling superior performance against increasingly sophisticated air defense systems, both today and years into the future.

A hardware-enabled, software-defined solution, RAPTR’s modular open systems architecture (MOSA) supports rapid integration and is designed to provide flexibility for future growth while reducing cost, risk and time to deploy. The use of common building blocks across FVL and other platforms enables sharing development, integration, production and sustainment costs.

This wide band multifunction sensor ensures superiority in all weather conditions and diminished visibility environments and, when deployed in a system of systems approach, provides 360-degree coverage of the battlespace. Coupled with its interoperability with advanced communications and networking systems, RAPTR gives the FVL ecosystem and operators extended reach and required awareness advantages to complete advanced missions in the future battlefield. RAPTR achieved Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6 after incremental demonstrations that increased the maturity of solution, while reducing risk.

Proven Aircraft Survivability & Situational Awareness Experience

Throughout the world, multispectral threats to aviation are becoming more sophisticated and lethal. The key to outfoxing these threats? Agility. To survive, aircrews must have not only sophisticated digital radar sensors and countermeasures, but also a way to manage them. That is why Northrop Grumman offers survivability solutions that span the spectrum.

The Northrop Grumman APR-39 Radar Warning Receiver and Electronic Warfare Management System maximizes survivability by improving aircrew situational awareness via interactive management of all onboard sensors and countermeasures. The system features the latest technology in a small, lightweight configuration that protects a wide variety of rotary, tiltrotor and fixed-wing aircraft from modern radio frequency threats.

Infrared-guided missiles remain a lethal threat in conflict zones. The Common Infrared Countermeasures system is designed specifically to protect rotary wing and medium fixed wing aircraft from these missiles and is built on open architecture to work with existing hardware, simplify upgrades, and keep lifecycle costs low. Northrop Grumman’s dependable, adaptable family of infrared countermeasure systems have been tested and proven in the harshest wartime conditions, and have achieved more than one million operational hours in theater.

Battle Proven Communications Navigation and Identification (CNI) Systems

As an industry leader in cutting-edge communications and advanced networking capabilities, Northrop Grumman’s iCNI systems deliver over 27 fully-integrated communications, identification and navigation functions and are currently used across every branch of the Department of Defense.

Northrop Grumman’s iCNI system will significantly enhance interoperability across joint and coalition forces by extending the operational reach of the combined force. The iCNI FVL design will create a number of networked advantages for today’s warfighters including providing resilient sensor-to-shooter links maintained through spectral awareness and frequency agility—significantly improving data to decision timelines. In addition, the autonomous fault detection and system reconfiguration of iCNI reduces crew workload, enabling warfighters to focus on other critical mission areas.

The company’s iCNI system is designed for enhanced sustainability and maintainability as well as providing a significant reduction in acquisition, platform integration and overall lifecycle costs. Its open architecture design will also enable third-party providers to easily integrate new functions and provide ongoing system sustainment. The signature low Size Weight and Power (SWaP) design and software defined nature of iCNI will enhance operational speed, range and mission time as well as improving overall affordability of the systems. The low SWaP design also allows the system to be easily integrated onto rotary wing platforms and upgraded to adapt to emerging mission demands while reducing overall lifecycle costs.

The iCNI system significantly improves situational awareness and enhances overall mission effectiveness by enabling multi-level secure, fifth-to-fourth generation networked data sharing and unparalleled interoperable communications, navigation and identification capabilities.

In the News

u.s. army black hawk helicopter preparing to land

Army awards OTA for Launched Effects program

military flight paramedic inside helicopter

Army National Guard Support Vital to EDGE 23 (National Guard)

Related Items

A designers example of a Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) in action.

Enabling the US Army to dominate in every domain

3 helis in night sky

Digital Avionics

aircraft infrared-guided anti-aircraft missile threat protection system

CIRCM - Common Infrared Countermeasures

Media Inquiries

Stephen Lamb
(224) 625-4627