Bell wins US Army’s future long range assault aircraft contract

The US Army has awarded the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) development contract to Bell Textron.

The award is based on Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor that was developed and tested as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) programme that began in 2013.

The V-280 progressed through design, manufacturing, and more than three years of rigorous flight testing that provided extensive data validating the technical and operational advantages of the aircraft for the long-range assault mission.

"We are honored that the U.S. Army has selected the Bell V-280 Valor as its next-generation assault aircraft," said Scott C. Donnelly, Textron’s chairman and chief executive officer. "We intend to honor that trust by building a truly remarkable and transformational weapon system to meet the Army’s mission requirements. We are excited to play an important role in the future of Army Aviation."

“This is an exciting time for the U.S. Army, Bell, and Team Valor as we modernize the Army’s aviation capabilities for decades to come,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell. “Bell has a long history supporting Army Aviation and we are ready to equip Soldiers with the speed and range they need to compete and win using the most mature, reliable, and affordable high-performance long-range assault weapon system in the world.”

The Army initiated the FLRAA program in 2019 as part of its Future Vertical Lift initiative to replace a portion of its assault and utility helicopter fleet. The FLRAA is intended to eventually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which has been in service for more than four decades.

FLRAA will expand the depth of the battlefield by extending the reach of air assault missions and enabling ground forces to converge through decentralised operations at extended distances. FLRAA’s inherent reach and standoff capabilities will ensure mission success through tactical manoeuvre at operational and strategic distances.

By implementing reform initiatives granted by the US Congress that were designed to streamline the acquisition process, this contract will deliver virtual prototypes that can be updated quickly and affordably. These virtual prototypes will directly support design, integration, training and developmental test activities.

As the US Army transforms to meet an uncertain future, FLRAA is one of the many modernised capabilities that will help ensure that the army of 2030 is ready and able to win when the nation calls.

www.bellflight.com

Company

Bell Textron

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