Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced that the U.S. Army has awarded a Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) program to Bell Helicopter based on its Bell V-280 Valor™. Bell Helicopter’s third generation tiltrotor design is on track to achieve first flight in 2017.
“Team Valor is excited about Bell Helicopter’s selection and TIA award for the JMR-TD. We look forward to working with the Army to demonstrate the superior capability of the next generation tiltrotor aircraft,” said Keith Flail, director of Bell Helicopter’s JMR-TD program. “The unprecedented speed and range of the Bell V-280’s tiltrotor technology maximizes operational effectiveness for future military operations, and the Bell V-280 offers the best solution for the U.S. Army. Bell Helicopter’s clean-sheet design and fly-by-wire expertise promise the Bell V-280 Valor will be a transformational aircraft on the battlefield.”
The Bell V-280 Valor presents the U.S. Army with the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness, with reduced complexity compared to previous generation tiltrotors. The Bell V-280 provides the best value in procurement, operations and support, and force structure, while delivering desired leap-ahead performance capabilities with increased maintainability, reliability and affordability to the DoD.
With twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters, the Valor will offer maneuver commanders unmatched operational agility to self-deploy and perform a multitude of vertical lift missions currently unachievable in one aircraft. The Bell V-280 is a combat force multiplier with superior performance, payload, survivability, and reliability to give the warfighter the decisive advantage.
The Bell V-280 Valor is a true combat maneuver platform, delivering a number of decisive capabilities and transformational features including:
- Speed: 280 KTAS
- Combat range: 500-800nm
- Strategically Self-Deployable – 2100nm Range
- Achieves 6k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)
- Carries crew of four and 11 troops
- Useful load of 12,000+ lbs
- Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system
- Conventional, retractable landing gear
- Two 6′ wide large side doors for ease of rapid ingress/egress
- Enhanced situational awareness and sensing technologies
The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program expected to replace between 2,000 and 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. The U.S. Army and Department of Defense are seeking leap-ahead capabilities and have identified a speed of 230+ knots as a key discriminating capability. Its current fleet cruises at 140 knots.