US Army chooses Textron’s Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor for FLRAA program

US Army chooses Textron’s Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor for FLRAA program

The Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program was initiated by the United States Army in 2019 to develop a successor to the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter as part of the Future Vertical Lift program.

According to a PR published by Textron Inc on December 7, 2022, the company announced that Bell Textron Inc. has been awarded the development contract for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

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) program 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.

This award builds on a decade of the V-280 Valor’s progress through design, manufacturing, and thorough testing to demonstrate that this aircraft will deliver on the FLRAA program requirements. Bell and its industry partners have systematically validated the V-280 aircraft and their modular open systems approach in collaboration with the Army.

The initial contract refines the weapon system design, sustainment, digital enterprise, manufacturing, systems integration, flight-testing, and airworthiness qualification.

The Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program was initiated by the United States Army in 2019 to develop a successor to the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter as part of the Future Vertical Lift program.

The UH-60, developed in the early 1970s, has been in service since June 1979. Like the UH-60, FLRAA variants would also serve United States Special Operations Command and the United States Marine Corps.

Under the existing Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, the Army has been gathering data from flying prototype designs that could fill the FLRAA role.

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