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Lethal. Sustainable. Bell Announces 360 Invictus For U.S. Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Competition

Published on: 2019-10-02 12:00:00

Next-generation rotorcraft is designed to provide attack, reconnaissance, and intelligence to shape the tactical environment and deliver operational overmatch in highly complex multi-domain operations

Fort Worth, Texas (October 2, 2019) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has announced a new rotorcraft, Bell 360 Invictus, as the company’s entrant for theArmy’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program. Bell’s innovative approach to designing the Bell 360 Invictus combines proven low-risk technologies with advanced processes to deliver soldiers an affordable, agile and lethal solution to win on the modern battlefield. The Bell 360 Invictus meets or exceeds all requirements as laid out under the FARA contract.

“The Bell 360 will deliver advanced battlefield situational awareness, as well as lethal options, in support of the maneuver force at an affordable cost” said Vince Tobin, executive vice president of Military Business at Bell. “The multi-domain fight will be complex, and our team is delivering a highly capable, low-risk solution to confidently meet operational requirements with a sustainable fleet.”

The Bell 360 Invictus’ design emphasizes exceptional performance using proven technologies to fulfill the Army’s FARA requirements at an affordable cost and on schedule. One example is the Invictus’ rotor system. This design is based on Bell’s 525 Relentless rotor system which has been tested and proven at speeds in excess of 200 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS). By incorporating proven designs and the best available technologies from commercial and military programs, Bell delivers a low-risk path to a FARA program of ;

This advanced aircraft will have a transformative impact through next-generation flight performance, increased safety and greater operational readiness—all to deliver decisive capabilities.

Some of the key 360 Invictus features include:

  • Lift-sharing wing to reduce rotor lift demand in forward flight, enabling high-speed maneuverability
  • Supplemental Power Unit increases performance during high power demands
  • Robust articulated main rotor with high flapping capability enabling high speed flight
  • Fly-by-wire flight control system—synthesizes technologies, reduces pilot workload and provides a path to autonomous flight
  • Speed: >185 KTAS
  • Combat radius: 135nm with >90 minutes of time on station
  • Achieves 4k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)
  • Armed with a 20 mm cannon, integrated munitions launcher with ability to integrate air-launched effects, and future weapons, as well as current inventory of munitions
  • Provisioned for enhanced situational awareness and sensor technologies
  • Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) enabled by a Digital Backbone from Collins Aerospace
  • Robust design integrating lifecycle supportability processes early to ensure high OPTEMPO availability in multi-domain operations
  • Design-as-built manufacturing model and digital thread enabled tools to enhance affordability, reliability, and training throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft

“Bell is committed to providing theArmy with the most affordable, most sustainable, least complex, and lowest risk solution among the potential FARA configurations, while meeting all requirements,” said Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “360 Invictus is an exciting opportunity for us to continue our support of Army modernization. This is the next solution to ensure soldiers have the best equipment available for the multi-domain fight.”

Bell has decades of experience providing attack and reconnaissance aircraft to the warfighter, such as the Kiowa Warrior which delivered high reliability and availability through more than 850,000 flight hours. The Bell 360 Invictus design builds from that legacy, Bell’s commercial innovations, and from the success in the development and manufacturing capabilities required for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) over the past six years.

To learn more about Bell 360 Invictus and FVL, please visit our booth at the AUSA Annual meeting (#2124) or .

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Distribution A: Approved for Public Release

This research was partially funded by the Government under Agreement No. W911ry6-19-9-0002. TheGovernment is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Aviation Development Directorate, or theGovernment.

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Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that theArmy will not choose Bell’s solution for the FARA program; the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses or delays in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; changing priorities or reductions in theGovernment defense budget, including those related to military operations in foreign countries; changes in worldwide economic or political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates or foreign exchange rates; our ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with theGovernment; theGovernment’s ability to unilaterally modify or terminate its contracts with us for theGovernment’s convenience or for our failure to perform, to change applicable procurement and accounting policies, or, under certain circumstances, to withhold payment or suspend or debar us as a contractor eligible to receive future contract awards; changes in foreign military funding priorities or budget constraints and determinations, or changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of military and commercial products; and performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors or business partners.