GE Aerospace Selected by Bell for V-280 Valor Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft

Defence Industry

Evendale, OH:  GE Aerospace on September 7 announced that it has been selected by Bell Textron Inc., a Textron company, for work on the development of a Common Open Architecture Digital Backbone (COADB), Voice and Data Recorder, and the Health Awareness System (HAS) for the Bell V-280 Valor.

Following the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program contract award, the V-280 Valor will enable the US Army and its allies to maintain battlefield superiority including transformational capabilities in speed, range, payload, and endurance. The GE Aerospace systems will be part of an open, scalable, high-speed data infrastructure consistent with the US Army’s Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) that enables rapid testing, verification, and fielding of mission-focused capabilities for future vertical lift programs.

“This is a foundational effort to improve weapon system capability and affordability for the Army by ensuring architectural alignment for integration of new technology,” said Ryan Ehinger, senior vice president and program director for FLRAA at Bell. “This collaborative approach provides the Army a vendor-agnostic path to explore new systems and capabilities – delivering soldiers the right tools for success in multi-domain missions.”

“Our open systems technologies and experience provide the customer with the ability to make aircraft system modifications for this next generation of vertical lift aircraft,” said Amy Gowder, president and CEO, Defense & Systems for GE Aerospace. “This changes how aircraft are updated and maintained, and it ensures that our soldiers have an advantage on the battlefield.”

Building on GE Aerospace’s commercial pedigree for open avionics infrastructure solutions, networked flight recorders, and onboard maintenance systems, the use of these systems will accelerate the launch of user-configurable solutions for critical military subsystems. The COADB builds on lessons learned from the Army’s Mission System Architecture Demonstration (MSAD), where it demonstrated the capability to rapidly integrate multiple operationally relevant sensors and equipment packages aligned to government-defined use cases.

Gowder continued: “By leveraging GE’s experience in delivering open avionics architecture, the Army will realize the benefits of Modular Open Systems Approach designs from the outset of the Future Vertical Lift programs. Providing an open, high-speed, secure, interoperable system in the digital backbone is critical to support our customer.”

The Voice and Data Recorder is an end-to-end system to acquire, transfer, process, and analyse flight and voice data. The voice and data recorder supports the full mission cycle with safety, maintenance, and flight quality assurance. The Health Awareness System builds on decades of commercial and military operation and has saved operators millions of dollars and increased mission readiness with predictive maintenance.

Bell and GE Aerospace are incorporating these advanced capabilities on the Bell V-280 Valor and Bell 360 Invictus as part of the FLRAA and FARA  programs, and working with the Army to set the standards for quicker, more affordable upgrades in capability as technologies and mission requirements evolve.