Vertical Envelopment and the Future Transport Rotorcraft

Operational Considerations for the Objective Force

by Jon Grossman, David Rubenson, William Sollfrey, Brett Steele


Download Support Files

FormatFile SizeNotes
zip file 2.2 MB

The file(s) provided above are ZIP-formatted archives, which most modern systems can natively unpack. If your computer does not unpack the archive when you double-click it, you may need to use a separate decompression program such as UnZip.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback68 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

The Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR) is a proposed heavy-lift helicopter capable of transporting the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) family of combat vehicles. Wargame and simulation models have shown significant benefit to the military if the FCS can be deployed behind enemy lines in a concept known as "vertical envelopment." Preliminary analysis indicates that the FTR must transport a 20-ton payload to a radius of 500 kilometers in an all-vertical mode. The authors review RAND Arroyo Center's analysis of the engineering, operational, and survivability risks associated with the FTR. The research shows that the success of the FDR's development depends upon engineers being able to surpass a wide range of historical trends in the design of rotorcraft technology. Further, survivability concerns imply that the FTR will not have free range on the battlefield and that operational flexibility will have to be reduced to ensure survivability. The authors recommend that efforts to conduct detailed studies of FTR design remain open to a wide range of options, including alternatives to rotorcraft. They further argue that the FTR would address only one aspect of the Army's overall problem in rapidly deploying the FCS from home station to the battlefield.

Table of Contents

  • Summary

  • Preface

    All Prefatory Materials

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Assessment of Existing Rotorcraft Technology/Cost

  • Chapter Three

    Advanced Technology Rotorcraft

  • Chapter Four

    Survivability Concerns

  • Chapter Five

    Policy Implications

  • Bibliography

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.