Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, on Oct. 2 announced a new rotorcraft, Bell 360 Invictus, as the company’s entrant for the U.S. Army’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 an affordable, agile and lethal solution, according to the Fort Worth-based company. 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.”
Scheduled for a production program start in 2024, the FARA aircraft will be an advanced, survivable and lethal solution with unmatched growth potential. The Army has named the FARA as a top modernization priority supported under the service’s new Futures Command structure.
The FARA contract has several other Fort Worth connections.
Fort Worth’s AVX Aircraft is teaming with L3 to put forward a design and Lockheed’s Sikorsky subsidiary is also offering a design for the program. Boeing and Karem Aircraft are also participating in the program.
The Bell 360 Invictus’ design emphasizes performance using proven technologies to fulfill the Army’s FARA requirements at an affordable cost and on schedule, according to the Bell news release. The release notes that the Invictus rotor system 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 plans to deliver a low-risk path to a FARA program of record.