Fort Worth, TX (Oct. 24, 2023) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today the Army has officially delivered GE Aerospace’s T901 Improved Turbine Engine to Bell for its submission for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. With the engine’s arrival, Bell is prepared to complete the build for the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype and move forward to the next stages of the FARA competition.
“The ITEP delivery is a major milestone for FARA and the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype,” said Jayme Gonzalez, program manager, FARA. “Now that we have received the engine, we are ready to begin working toward ground runs and other necessary preparations before first flight later next year.”
Bell and Team Invictus have been focused on preparing our FARA support infrastructure, supply chain and manufacturing hub to ensure alignment as we move forward on the path toward first flight. With the T901 now in hand, the Bell team is prepared to instrument and install the engine and functionally prepare the aircraft for ground test operations.
Once the aircraft has been functionally tested with the T901 installed, the next steps for the Bell 360 include completing the Test Readiness Review and a restrained ground run. These tests are key to enabling the safe, rapid, and efficient execution of the flight test program.
“Our team has been hard at work to drive down risk in preparation for ground and flight tests,” said Chris Gehler, senior vice president and program director, FARA. “We are excited to receive the T901 engine and look forward to demonstrating the transformative capabilities of the Bell 360 Invictus. As well, we continue to advance and meet Army requirements for an open weapons system design that provides the next level of lethality and survivability into our warfighters’ arsenal.”
At Bell, we believe that it is crucial to fill the Army’s Reconnaissance capability gap. The Bell 360 Invictus offers major increases in speed, reach, and lethality that will enable the Army to reintroduce the critical scout and reconnaissance capability with both piloted and autonomous capabilities. Now that the T901 engine has been delivered, Bell and Team Invictus are one step closer to delivering this capability to our warfighters safely and affordably.
This research was partially funded by the Government under Agreement No. W911W6-19-9-0002. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Aviation Development Directorate, or the U.S. Government.
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Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that the U.S. Army will not choose the Bell 360 Invictus for the FARA program; the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses or delays in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; changing priorities or reductions in the U.S. Government defense budget, including those related to military operations in foreign countries; changes in worldwide economic or political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates or foreign exchange rates; our ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with the U.S. Government; the U.S. Government’s ability to unilaterally modify or terminate its contracts with us for the U.S. Government’s convenience or for our failure to perform, to change applicable procurement and accounting policies, or, under certain circumstances, to withhold payment or suspend or debar us as a contractor eligible to receive future contract awards; changes in foreign military funding priorities or budget constraints and determinations, and performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors or business partners.
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