Bell Helicopter announced that its third generation tiltrotor design, Bell V-280 Valor, has been selected by the U.S. Army for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) program.
The Army is expected to award JMR-TD contracts by September 2013, with first flight scheduled for 2017.
"The Bell V-280 Valor will provide the Army’s most sought-after capability with a cruise speed of 280 knots, said Keith Flail, director of Bell Helicopter’s Future Vertical Lift program. "We have also focused technology advancements on providing outstanding low-speed agility, high-hot (6K/95F) hover capability, multiple-g high-speed maneuverability, superior fuel efficiency and radically improved range capabilities while improving reliability and reducing costs.”
The Bell V-280 Valor is designed to offer the U.S. Army the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness. The Valor will have the capacity to perform a multitude of missions with unparalleled speed and agility. The Bell V-280's clean sheet design reduces complexity compared to previous generation tiltrotors, with fewer parts. The Valor is designed to deliver the best value in procurement, operations and support, and force structure, providing increased maintainability, component reliability and systems designed to reduce operational and support costs.
The Bell V-280 Valor's Army-centric design features include 280 KTAS cruise speed, 500-800nm combat range, strategically Self-Deployable - 2100nm Range, achieves 6k/95, triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system, conventional, retractable landing gear and two 6' wide large side doors for ease of ingress/egress.
After reviewing several JMR-TD proposals from various manufacturers, the U.S. Army evaluation team classified Bell Helicopter’s offering as a Category I proposal. According to the U.S. Army’s Contracting Division, a Category I proposal is a well-conceived, scientifically or technically sound proposal pertinent to program goals and objectives with applicability to Army mission needs, and offered by a responsible contractor with the competent scientific and technical staff supporting resources needed to ensure satisfactory program results. Proposals (or portions thereof) in Category I are recommended for acceptance and funding is available.
The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s estimated $100 billion Future Vertical Lift program expected to replace between 2000-4000 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 130 knots.