Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter
Bell Textron Inc
Fort Worth, TX
Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, recently announced a new rotorcraft, Bell 360 Invictus, as the company’s entrant for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program. Bell’s approach to designing the Bell 360 Invictus combines proven low-risk technologies with advanced processes to give soldiers an affordable, agile and lethal solution that can win on the modern battlefield. The Bell 360 Invictus meets or exceeds all of the requirements laid out in the FARA contract.
The Bell 360 Invictus’ design emphasizes high-performance using proven technologies to fulfill the Army’s FARA requirements at an affordable cost and on schedule. One example is the Invictus’ rotor system. This design is based on Bell’s 525 Relentless rotor system which has been tested and proven at speeds in excess of 200 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS). By incorporating proven designs and the best available technologies from commercial and military programs, Bell’s strategy is to deliver a low-risk path to a FARA program of record.
Some of the key 360 Invictus features include:
Lift-sharing wing to reduce rotor lift demand in forward flight, enabling high-speed maneuverability
Supplemental power unit to increase performance during high power demands
Robust articulated main rotor with high flapping capability, enabling high speed flight
Fly-by-wire flight control system—synthesizes technologies, reduces pilot workload and provides a path to autonomous flight
Speed: >185 KTAS
Combat radius: 135nm with >90 minutes of time on station
Achieves 4k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)
Armed with a 20 mm cannon, integrated munitions launcher with ability to integrate air-launched effects, and future weapons, as well as current inventory of munitions
Provisioned for enhanced situational awareness and sensor technologies
Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) enabled by a Digital Backbone from Collins Aerospace
Robust design integrating lifecycle supportability processes early to ensure high OPTEMPO availability in multi-domain operations
Design-as-built manufacturing model and digital thread enabled tools to enhance affordability, reliability, and training throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft
Bell has decades of experience providing attack and reconnaissance aircraft to the military, such as the Kiowa Warrior, which delivered high reliability and availability through more than 850,000 flight hours. The Bell 360 Invictus design builds on that legacy, Bell’s commercial innovations, as well as its success in the development and manufacturing capabilities required for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) over the past six years.
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