Bell Textron Inc. has received a second-phase Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction contract for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program from the U.S. Army in the amount of $292.6 million. Some of the work will be performed at the company’s Tallassee facility.
The new contract allows Bell’s flight-proven V-280 Valor design to advance from an aircraft with transformational speed to a low-risk weapons system.
“This is the next step to a program of record and Bell is proud to closely collaborate with the Army to transition our flight-proven V-280 Valor into a highly-capable and sustainable FLRAA weapons system,” said Keith Flail, executive vice president, Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell.
During phase one, Bell provided detailed iterations of the V-280 design, data to highlight the feasibility of executing the program and trade studies using model-based systems engineering. This work will continue under phase two.
The first flight of the V-280 was in 2017. Since them, more than 200 hours of flying through more than 160 test flights have validated Bell’s digital models’ data. Bell applied digital design and manufacturing technologies and included maintenance as part of the design process as a way to reduce costs, ensuring a reliable design adhering to Army Modular Open Systems Approach requirements.
“The V-280 tiltrotor provides a critical and combat-proven capability needed to maintain our U.S. military’s ability to deter adversaries by radically improving over the current fleet’s speed, range, versatility and sustainability. Our program has provided evidence that the V-280 is a transformational long-range assault aircraft solution for the Army and we are proud to move forward as a team to continue to mature the weapons system,” said Ryan Ehinger, vice president and program director, FLRAA at Bell.