CAE, a player in simulation, joins forces with Bell Textron Inc. to provide training aids, simulators, and simulations for the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme. 

This collaboration aims to enhance operator and maintainer skills for Bell’s tiltrotor, selected as the next-generation assault aircraft under the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative.

The contract involves delivering training elements, including maintenance training aids, simulators, and simulations. As part of the initial award, CAE will lead virtual prototyping, visual display systems, and radio simulations for portable flight trainers, setting the stage for future advancements in virtual maintenance training.

Bell’s tiltrotor, chosen by the US Army under the FVL programme, aims to promise manoeuvrability, minimised downtime, and mission safety. As the FLRAA programme advances, CAE envisions contributing its simulation expertise to ensure mission readiness for the Army’s next-generation aircraft.

The competition included a Sikorsky-Boeing proposal. However, the US Army awarded the FLRAA contract to Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor, leading to Sikorsky’s formal protest. Despite the protest, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied Sikorsky’s challenge, confirming the selection of the V-280 Valor for the FLRAA programme.

The FLRAA is scheduled for acquisition by 2030. The resultant platform will replace the UH-60 Black Hawks that have become ubiquitous with the US Army, according to GlobalData’s intelligence on the US defence market

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Dan Gelston, group president of CAE Defense & Security, emphasises the significance of the FVL programme, stating, “The US Army’s commitment to aviation modernisation and transformational capabilities aligns seamlessly with CAE’s dedication to providing cutting-edge simulation solutions.” Gelston expresses CAE’s pleasure in collaborating with Bell and being part of Team Valor, reinforcing their partnership.

Ryan Ehinger, senior vice president and programme director for FLRAA at Bell, underscores the importance of operator and maintainer training. “Operator and maintainer training are key aspects to ensuring FLRAA weapon system capabilities for our warfighters. We look forward to continuing to work with CAE as we support the Army in its critical efforts to modernise and increase the lethality of our nation’s soldiers.”

The partnership between CAE and Bell, initiated in 2021, reflects a shared vision for the Future Vertical Lift family of systems. CAE’s involvement encompasses maintenance training devices, flight training devices, and training products, further solidifying their joint dedication to advancing military aviation capabilities.