Fort Worth, TX (Oct. 23, 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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