Bell's FLRAA offering completes flight-test program

By Ethan Sterenfeld / June 24, 2021 at 5:56 PM

Bell's V-280 Valor, its offering for the Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, has completed a three-year flight-test program, and the company is preparing for the expected release of a request for proposals this summer, Bell announced June 24.

Bell and a Boeing-Sikorsky team are currently in the second phase of a competitive demonstration and risk-reduction effort to develop FLRAA, the replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

The V-280 Valor has flown 214 hours during the demonstration and risk-reduction effort, according to the announcement. Bell announced last December that it had reached 200 hours of flight time.

"The FLRAA challenge presented by the U.S. Army was unattainable using helicopter configurations," Keith Flail, executive vice president of advanced vertical lift systems at Bell, said in the company's announcement. "Our team is committed to providing the Army the highest performance and flight-proven option to move into the FLRAA program of record."

As the second phase of the development and risk-reduction effort continues, Bell will provide the Army with "initial preliminary designs for major subsystems and the conceptual weapon system," according to the announcement.

The Army is expected to choose one of the competitors next year for FLRAA, and it has said it hopes to field the aircraft by 2030.