Discretionary Spending

Function 050 - National Defense

Cancel the Army's Future Vertical Lift Aircraft

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of Dollars 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2023–
Change in Planned Defense Spending  
  Budget authority 0 -1.0 -1.5 -1.4 -2.5 -2.5 -2.8 -2.7 -2.6 -3.6 -6.4 -20.8
  Outlays 0 -0.4 -1.0 -1.2 -1.5 -1.8 -2.0 -2.2 -2.3 -2.5 -4.1 -15.0

This option would take effect in October 2023.

Estimates of savings displayed in the table are based on the Department of Defense's 2023 Future Years Defense Program and the Congressional Budget Office's extension of that plan.

The Department of Defense (DoD) established the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative to focus on research and development of technologies for the next generation of vertical lift aircraft for U.S. armed forces. Although all branches of the armed forces would benefit from the FVL initiative, the Army has been its primary developer and most funding has been provided in Army appropriation accounts. The Army is developing two new aircraft as part of its FVL efforts: the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The FARA is expected to fill the role of the retired Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter, and the FLRAA is expected to eventually replace the Blackhawk transport helicopter. Both are designed to be faster and have longer ranges than their predecessors. They are expected to enter service later this decade or in the early 2030s.

This option would end development of the FARA and FLRAA. The Army would continue to operate its current fleet of helicopters, most of which have been purchased or refurbished within the past 15 years.