Bell Textron unveils rotorcraft for US Army’s FARA competition

4 October 2019 (Last Updated October 4th, 2019 14:09)

Bell Textron has released rotorcraft Bell 360 Invictus as its proposal for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype programme.

Bell Textron unveils rotorcraft for US Army’s FARA competition
Bell 360 Invictus is the company’s proposal for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype programme. Credit: Bell Textron Inc.

Bell Textron has released rotorcraft Bell 360 Invictus as its proposal for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype programme.

The company is one of the firms hoping to secure a contract to build prototypes for the FARA platforms.

Bell 360 Invictus will compete with designs proposed by other aspirants for the programme.

The company stated that the new rotorcraft combines ‘low-risk technologies with advanced processes’.

The platform is being positioned as an agile and lethal solution to deliver an advantage on the battlefield.

Bell Military Business executive vice-president Vince Tobin said: “The Bell 360 will deliver advanced battlefield situational awareness, as well as lethal options, in support of the manoeuvre force at an affordable cost.

“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 company is confident that its Bell 360 Invictus solution will meet all the requirements listed in the FARA contract.

The design of the Bell 360 Invictus’ rotor system is based on Bell’s 525 Relentless rotor system.

The new rotorcraft is expected to deliver improved flight performance, operational readiness and safety.

Main highlights of the platform include high-speed manoeuvrability, supplemental power unit, high-speed flight, fly-by-wire flight control system, and enhanced situational awareness.

The 360 Invictus will be equipped with a 20mm cannon and an integrated munitions launcher. The architecture supports the integration of other munitions and future weapons.

It will offer an operational advantage to the army in complex multi-domain operations, the company said.

Bell Advanced Vertical Lift Systems vice-president Keith Flail said: “Bell is committed to providing the US Army with the most affordable, most sustainable, least complex, and lowest risk solution among the potential FARA configurations while meeting all requirements.

“360 Invictus is an exciting opportunity for us to continue our support of army modernisation. This is the next solution to ensure soldiers have the best equipment available for the multi-domain fight.”

Last month, Bell joined forces with Collins Aerospace Systems to develop a prototype for the FARA programme.