Boeing has delivered the first operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet to the USN.
Bell pushes on with V-280
Having demonstrated the technical and operational characteristics of the tiltrotor aircraft, Bell and its Team Valor partners ‘are applying data-driven optimisations to deliver a reliable and sustainable long-range assault weapon system’ for the imminent programme of record competition, the company added.
The US Army is expected to release an RfP in Q3 2021. Team Valor faces competition from Boeing and Sikorsky, which are jointly offering the coaxial Defiant X.
Both teams received Competitive Design and Risk Reduction (CD&RR) Phase 2 awards on 31 March.
Bell stated that it is using CD&RR Phase 2 to provide initial preliminary designs for major subsystems and the conceptual weapons system, ‘based on data-proven performance that ensures transformational capabilities will be delivered in line with the Army’s schedule’.
A recently concluded three-year flight-test programme for the V-280 (including 15 sorties flown by US Army experimental test pilots) highlighted the aircraft’s low-speed agility, long-range cruise, 305kt high-speed flights and ‘rapid mission systems integration’, Bell claimed.
Additionally, Bell hosted Soldier Touchpoint events enabling critical feedback from pilots, mechanics, and infantry squads.
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