Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced its show plans for the 2016 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington D.C., October 3-5. The company will display its newest tiltrotor innovations, the V-280 “Valor” mock-up and the recently unveiled V-247 “Vigilant” unmanned aerial system model. An immersive V-280 virtual reality experience will allow participants to step into different Valor mission scenarios, making it possible to more fully observe and understand the capabilities of the V-280 tiltrotor in an augmented environment.
“The future is now, and we are excited for the opportunity to highlight our efforts at one of the largest land warfare expositions and professional development forums in the world,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO at Bell Helicopter. “The cutting-edge tiltrotor technology of the V-280 Valor and V-247 Vigilant will stretch the dimensions of the battlefield, and Bell Helicopter will continue to challenge the traditional notion of flying so that our military can efficiently and effectively protect our freedom.”
The Bell V-247 Vigilant, Bell Helicopter’s newest tiltrotor concept, was announced to the public last week at an unveiling in Washington, D.C. The Group 5 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is designed to provide unmatched long-endurance persistent expeditionary and surveillance capability and lethal reach, as well as runway independence to operate successfully in maritime environments and locations without secure runway availability.
The Vigilant offers original features including a modular payload system to provide maximum flexibility and power distribution system to provide maximum mission capabilities. It provides extended range flying from land or ship, matchless expeditionary capabilities, and has the ability to remain on-station with heightened loiter times for extended periods. In a two-ship configuration, the Bell V-247 Vigilant can provide 24-hour sensor coverage to effectively control the battle space. The aircraft could be available for production in 2023.
The Bell V-280 Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) mockup will also be on display, offering a sneak preview into the near future of vertical lift. The V-280 Valor tiltrotor is designed to provide unmatched speed, range, payload, agility, survivability and endurance at an affordable cost. It converts vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability into a tactical, operational and strategic advantage for the warfighter. The revolutionary aircraft capitalizes on the more than 325,000 V-22 fleet flight hours, and leverages Bell Helicopter’s decades of tiltrotor experience to make it the warfighter’s optimum solution for flexible strategic options, operational reach and tactical overmatch at the point of decision. The first flight of the V-280 Valor is scheduled for the second half of 2017.
The AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, held every October, is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America. More than 26,000 people from around the world are expected to attend informative and relevant presentations, panel discussions on pertinent military and national security subjects, workshops and 600 displays in five halls located on both levels of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
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