FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is supporting Bell Helicopter in its development of a third-generation tilt-rotor helicopter named the V-280 Valor.
The Technology Investment Agreement is for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) program.
"Team Valor is excited about Bell Helicopter's selection and TIA award for the JMR-TD," said Keith Flail, director of Bell Helicopter's JMR-TD program. "We look forward to working with the Army to demonstrate the superior capability of the next generation tilt-rotor aircraft.
"The unprecedented speed and range of the Bell V-280's tilt-rotor technology maximizes operational effectiveness for future military operations, and the Bell V-280 offers the best solution for the U.S. Army."
The tilt-rotor will fly at twice the speed of current helicopters and with superior maneuverability. The aircraft's combat range would be up to 800 nautical miles.
"The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense's Future Vertical Lift program expected to replace between 2,000 and 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters," Bell said. "The U.S. Army and Department of Defense are seeking leap-ahead capabilities and have identified a speed of 230-plus knots as a key discriminating capability."
Bell said the V-280 is on track for first flight in 2017.