Bell Names Manufacturing Team to Build US Army’s FARA

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  • 06:02 AM, June 5, 2020
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Bell Names Manufacturing Team to Build US Army’s FARA
Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft

Bell Textron Inc., has teamed up with nine aerospace companies to form “Team Invictus” that will build the prototype of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA).

Team Invictus comprises of Astronics Corporation, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, ITT-Enidine Inc., L3 Harris Technologies, Parker Lord, Mecaer Aviation Group Inc., MOOG Inc., and TRU Simulation + Training, the company said in a release Thursday.

In late March, the U.S. Army picked Bell’s 360 Invictus and Sikorsky’s Raider X for the second phase of its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition program. They were chosen amongst five contenders. The others comprised of AVX Aircraft’s Compound Coaxial Helicopter (CCH), Boeing’s FARA concept and Karem Aircraft’s AR40.

The FARA competition seeks to design, produce and test a prototype that will fill the capability gap caused by the retirement of the army’s Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior light attack/reconnaissance helicopter fleet in 2017 – a gap which is currently being covered by army Boeing AH-64D/E attack helicopters.

As part of the U.S. government’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of programs, the FARA competition seeks to test and acquire a next-generation attack reconnaissance aircraft to fill a critical capability gap identified by the Army on a rapid schedule.

“Future Vertical Lift is critical for the Army’s ability to win in multi-domain operations with FARA defeating defensive layers and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) exploiting opened areas to achieve operational objectives,” said Chris Gehler, vice president and program director for FARA at Bell.

Bell Names Manufacturing Team to Build US Army’s FARA

Team members have been assigned work as follows:

  • Astronics Corporation for a modular framework of airframe power generation, conversion, and distribution products
  • Collins Aerospace for integration of a new generation of avionics hardware and software featuring cyber-hardened and digital backbone solutions to configure and integrate mission systems
  • GE Aviation for the 3,000-SHP T901 engine and working on the aircraft Health Awareness System (HAS)
  • ITT-Enidine Inc. for the passive Liquid Inertia Vibration Eliminator (LIVE) units for all modes of operation including high speed
  • L3Harris Technologies for the WESCAM MX-15D, an advanced, stabilized multi-sensor, multi-spectral imaging and targeting system
  • Parker Lord for rotor dampers, the main rotor CF bearing, the tail rotor tension torsion strap, and the Active Vibration Control (AVC) System
  • Mecaer Aviation Group, Inc. for a fully retractable, tail dragger landing gear system
  • MOOG Inc. for flight control computer (FCC) electronics, software, and flight control actuation, critical components of the Bell fly-by-wire, Flight Control System (FCS)
  • TRU Simulation + Training for flight simulator 
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