Bell Textron has partnered with Collins Aerospace Systems to develop a prototype for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programme.

Collins Aerospace will provide avionics hardware and software for Bell’s FARA prototype under the agreement.

Bell was one of five companies that secured a contract from the US Army in April to provide initial designs for the FARA platform.

Other awardees of the prototype design contract include Boeing, Sikorsky, AVX Aircraft, and Karem Aircraft.

The helicopter manufacturer is designing a vertical lift aircraft with advanced capabilities to operate effectively in multi-domain operations.

Bell Textron Advanced Vertical Lift Systems vice-president Keith Flail said: “This team has a lot of experience supporting attack reconnaissance requirements and will deliver a smart, lethal aircraft at an affordable cost.

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“The army is looking for revolutionary solutions for warfighters and we are confident that our team has the right combination of innovative technology and experience to build an aircraft with transformative capabilities on a compressed timeline.”

As part of the partnership, Collins Aerospace will use model-based systems engineering (MBSE) tools and processes to enable the integration of mission avionics and capability insertions into the FARA.

Collins Aerospace Military Avionics and Helicopters vice-president and general manager Dave Schreck said: “By teaming with Bell, we can reduce the overall lifecycle costs and risks associated with this next generation of aircraft and effectively meet the FARA objectives in multidomain threat environments.

“With a long history of providing avionics solutions to both army and special operations aviators, Collins Aerospace is uniquely positioned to provide Bell with the cutting-edge cockpit technology necessary to enable warfighter mission success.”

In the joint press statement, Bell stated that the prototype for the FARA programme will use technologies demonstrated on the V-280 Valor and Bell 525 platforms.

In July this year, Karem teamed up with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon for the FARA programme.