Bell Helicopter has agreed to appoint Lockheed Martin as a “tier one” member of the V-280 Valor program. The Hurst, Texas-based subsidiary of Textron plans to incorporate additional partners into the tiltrotor program the coming months. The V-280 is one of three groups vying for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) program, a precursor to the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) medium variant. Boeing/Sikorsky, with a bid based off the X2/S-97 Raider, and AVX Aircraft are the other two entrants.
The Army plans to issue contracts for the JMR technology demonstrator (TD) in September, according to Bell. Dale Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, noted that the mission system package will offer “leap-ahead combat capability” for the V-280, allowing the Army to “take advantage of the advanced technology and maturity we’re achieved in integrated avionics, sensors and weapons.”