3. Modernization Strategy
The Aviation Annex to the AMP provides a blueprint for equipping our aviation forces well into the next century with a modern, cost-effective, warfighting fleet able to meet the challenges of low-, mid-, and high-intensity conflicts. The AMP calls for the following major improvements:
- Upgrade existing systems: AH-64 Apache Longbow modernization, UH-60 Blackhawk, and Improved Cargo Helicopter (ICH).
- Conduct development: RAH-66 Comanche (including Longbow).
- Conduct development, upgrade existing systems, and sustain the numerous core programs.
- Support advanced concepts: Enhanced AH-64 Apache, Joint Transport Rotorcraft (JTR), and Bird Dog.
Current and future threats to Army aircraft are many and varied. The range of new and emerging technologies available to our adversaries further increases the threat. Many such technologies are intended to improve the effectiveness of air defense systems against low-flying helicopters, while other technologies strive to strengthen the protection of ground systems from attack by air. Undoubtedly, these technologies will become available on the international arms market, resulting in an even more robust capability for our potential adversaries. Our own warfighting concept and modernization requirements are both predicated on the need to counter known and emerging threats.
Desert Shield/Storm not only demonstrated Army Aviation's current ability to support Combined Arms Operations, but also validated the logic of the Army Aviation Modernization Strategy. These successes, plus future threats, justify our investments in the development of the RAH-66 Comanche as a responsive and timely evolution of aviation capabilities. The Army Aviation S&T program of the 1980s paved the way for these new systems, and the program for the 1990s is capitalizing on its successes. Fulfillment of our aviation modernization requirements will result in the achievement of strategic agility and power projection necessary to deploy, fight, and sustain forces--to win decisively with minimal casualties.