Team Invictus brings together programmatic and operational expertise to deliver a transformational, affordable scout aircraft to soldiers, the Bell 360 Invictus
Fort Worth, Texas (June 4, 2020) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has announced agreements with nine premier aerospace industry leaders to form Team Invictus. The companies are producing the Bell 360 Invictus prototype submission as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. Each industry partner brings unique experience and technological expertise to provide a low-risk path for the Army’s acquisition of a lethal, affordable rotorcraft with advanced mission systems to modernize aviation for multi-domain operations (MDO).
“Team Invictus is working together to show how cutting-edge technology will give soldiers the ability to confidently operate in the complex and contested battlespace of multi-domain operations,” said Chris Gehler, vice president and program director for FARA at Bell. “Future Vertical Lift is critical for the Army’s ability to win in multi-domain operations with FARA defeating defensive layers and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) exploiting opened areas to achieve operational objectives.”
Team members are working closely together to deliver the Bell 360 Invictus prototype using a configuration that emphasizes operational availability, sustainability, and maintainability. The members of Team Invictus include:
- Astronics Corporation for a modular framework of airframe power generation, conversion, and distribution products
- Collins Aerospace for integration of a new generation of avionics hardware and software featuring cyber-hardened and digital backbone solutions to configure and integrate mission systems
- ITT-Enidine Inc. for the passive Liquid Inertia Vibration Eliminator (LIVE) units for all modes of operation including high speed
- L3Harris Technologies for the WESCAM™ MX-15D, an advanced, stabilized multi-sensor, multi-spectral imaging and targeting system
- Parker Lord for rotor dampers, the main rotor CF bearing, the tail rotor tension torsion strap, and the Active Vibration Control (AVC) System
- MOOG Inc. for flight control computer (FCC) electronics, software, and flight control actuation, critical components of the Bell fly-by-wire, Flight Control System (FCS)
- TRU Simulation + Training for a high-fidelity flight simulator that gives pilots a true sense of the aircraft flight controls
Team Invictus is applying digital design and manufacturing technologies, including maintenance as part of the design process, and use of emerging commercial practices to bring a holistic view of digital models, processing and analysis to reduce lifecycle maintenance and servicing requirements—and thus reducing sustainment costs.
“Each team member brings a capability that is vital to the success of the Bell 360 and we are honored to have proven, capable, and well-respected industry partners on Team Invictus,” stated Gehler. “This is an outstanding industry team, and we are working diligently to produce a FARA weapon system that is operationally effective and affordably sustainable, as well as complementary and in many ways common to the FLRAA program.”
Following the selection of the Bell 360 Invictus for the competitive prototype in March 2020, Team Invictus continues to rapidly move forward. Team Invictus’ collective expertise reduces program risk while preserving the Army’s FARA schedule leading to a first flight targeted for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.
Michael A. Reilly
Bell Office: 703-271-4928
This research was partially funded by the Government under Agreement No. 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 Technology Development Directorate, or the U.S. Government.
Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.
We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.
Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.
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, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.