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Joint Multi Role (JMR) Status and Update

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The Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a forum today to discuss the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstration (TD) program and its relationship to the Service’s nascent Future Vertical Lift (FVL) plans. On hand at the forum was the Army’s JMR/FLV Program Manager Dan Bailey, industry representatives from the four JMR-TD Phase leads and perhaps 100 attendees from Government and industry.

Key JMR program news and take-aways included the following:

1.     The Army's go-ahead strategy is described as a "descoping" rather than a downselect.  Indeed, the Army intends to allow additional JMR-TD Phase technology demonstration initiatives -- not just the two companies selected to build flight demonstrators -- to move forward.  Dan Bailey told me that “it would make little sense to stop entirely the work of the "losing" teams" when each team is doing good work in various areas of interest.” He gave me the sense that these teams not selected for the flight demos would still get some work moving forward.

2.      The Technology Investment Agreements (TIA) with each industry team extend through 2019, so the Army will simply "descope" the activities of some of the contractor teams away from performing flight demos.  Mr. Bailey left with the impression that the work scope of the two companies not building/flying their demonstrators will have much more focused/confined scopes.  Significant industry investments (greater, perhaps far greater than 50% shares) in support of these research efforts will continue to exist.

3.     The Army does not intend to "cherry-pick" various subcontractors from the industry Air Vehicle teams as they now stand and has not, to date, encouraged the teams to drop or take on various teammates.

4.     The details of the go-ahead strategy are being worked and the Army plans to announce its plan on/about 31 July 2014.

5.     Separate, apart, but now in parallel with the Air Vehicle JMR-TD Phase work is industry work on the Joint Common Architecture (JCA) JMR TD Phase.”  The Army announced today that Honeywell and Boeing had just been awarded JCA contracts to develop and deliver software modules for the JMR “digital backbone” over the next year.