Bell Helicopter [TXT] yesterday named Lockheed Martin [LMT] the first of its V-280 program tier one members.
The Army recently chose the Bell V-280 Valor to enter into negotiations for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) program, with contracts expected to be awarded this month.
The Bell team faces competition from a Sikorsky [UTX]-Boeing [BA] team.
Artist’s Rendering: Bell Helicopter
Additional team members will be announced in the coming months.
“We are very excited about teaming with Lockheed Martin on the V-280,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “Lockheed Martin is a premier defense and aerospace contracting company celebrating 100 years of success. Their experience and innovation, combined with their strong business relationships serving their customers at the U.S. 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, said: “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 U.S. 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 program. Our efforts will allow the U.S. Army to take advantage of the advanced technology and maturity we’ve achieved in integrated avionics, sensors, and weapons.”
The transformational features of Bell Helicopter’s third generation tiltrotor capitalize on combat-proven technology, the company said Sept. 9.
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, a company statement said. The Valor’s versatile design has the capacity to perform a multitude of missions with unparalleled speed, range and agility, making the aircraft a combat multiplier. The Bell V-280 is the most advanced and operationally effective vertical lift solution, providing the warfighter a decisive advantage.