Bell, Lockheed Martin team for V-280 Valor
Bell Helicopter has announced Lockheed Martin as the first of its tier one team members for the V-280 programme. Additional team members for the programme will be announced in the coming months.
The US Army recently selected the Bell V-280 to enter into negotiations for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) programme, which aims to develop a next-generation rotorcraft able to replace both the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Blackhawk. Boeing/Sikorsky’s X-2 coaxial compound helicopter, and a coaxial design with dual ducted-fan propulsors from AVX have also been shortlisted under this phase, with contracts expected to be awarded during September.
John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter, said: ‘We are very excited about teaming with Lockheed Martin on the V-280. Lockheed Martin is a premier defence and aerospace contracting company celebrating 100 years of success. Their experience and innovation, combined with their strong business relationships serving their customers at the US Department of Defense and other government agencies, will help us provide the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness required for Future Vertical Lift missions.’
Dale Bennett, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, added: ‘We made the strategic decision to invest in a mission system and provide Bell Helicopter with this leap-ahead combat capability on the V-280 Valor. The US government and Lockheed Martin have created affordable yet highly-advanced mission equipment packages for numerous aircraft that can be leveraged to provide an affordable and effective solution for the Future Vertical Lift programme. Our efforts will allow the US Army to take advantage of the advanced technology and maturity we’ve achieved in integrated avionics, sensors, and weapons.’
Bell’s V-280 draws on combat-proven technology, and is being developed to perform a multitude of missions with advanced speed, range and agility. According to the company, the Valor is designed ‘to deliver the best value in procurement, operations and support, and force structure, through increased maintainability, component reliability and systems designed to reduce operational and support costs.’
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