GKN Aerospace and GE Aviation have been selected by Bell Helicopter to work on the Bell V-280 Valor helicopter, which is competing for the US Army's joint multi-role (JMR) programme contract.
GKN Aerospace will design, develop and manufacture the V-tail aerostructure and ruddervators for the Bell V-280, while GE Aviation will supply propulsion system for the helicopter.
Bell Helicopter has recently signed a JMR-technology demonstration (TD) technology investment agreement (TIA) with the army to start development of its demonstrator aircraft for planned flight testing in 2017.
GKN Aerospace North America CEO, Kevin Cummings, said: ''We are proud to play such an important role in the development of the V-280 Valor airframe that represents the next generation in vertical lift technology."
GE Aviation Military Systems Operation vice president and general manager, Jean Lydon-Rodgers, said: ''We look forward to providing the US Army with exciting, advanced technologies for future vertical lift, leading to a robust, durable engine that delivers tremendous performance and superior fuel consumption while meeting aggressive cost targets."
Bell Helicopter president and CEO, John Garrison, said: "Our combined rotorcraft expertise will ensure the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness for the US Army."
Developed with an army-centric design, the V-280 Valor is claimed to provide the combatant commanders with an ability to conduct multiple vertical lift missions with enhanced agility and twice the speed and range of legacy helicopters.
Offering the best value in procurement, operations and support, as well as force structure, the helicopter also has fewer parts, lowering complexity compared with previous generation tiltrotors.
A subset of the US Department of Defense's (DoD) joint future vertical lift effort, the JMR programme aims to develop a family of helicopters with enhanced avionics, electronics, range, speed, propulsion, survivability, operating density altitudes and payload capacities.
Other competitors selected for the programme include AVX Aircraft, Karem Aircraft and Sikorsky Aircraft-Boeing team.
Image: Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor is claimed to offer US Army the best value in procurement, operations and support, as well as force structure.Photo: courtesy of Bell Helicopter.