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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

Old 5th Dec 2022, 23:07
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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

https://www.army.mil/article/262523

The U.S. Army has awarded the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft contract to Bell Textron, Incorporated.“I am excited to be part of this momentous day for our Army,” said Mr. Doug Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. “The thoughtful and disciplined execution of the FLRAA program strategy will deliver the transformational capabilities we need to support the Joint force, strengthen deterrence and win in multi-domain operations.”

The Army initiated the FLRAA program in 2019 as part of its Future Vertical Lift initiative to replace a portion of its assault and utility helicopter fleet. The FLRAA is intended to eventually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which has been in service for more than four decades.

“This down-select represents a strategic pivot for Army Aviation to the transformational speed and range our Army needs to dominate future battlefields,” said Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team. “The prototyping and risk-reduction efforts allowed the Army to significantly reduce the time needed to get to today’s announcement.”

FLRAA will expand the depth of the battlefield by extending the reach of air assault missions and enabling ground forces to converge through decentralized operations at extended distances. FLRAA’s inherent reach and standoff capabilities will ensure mission success through tactical maneuver at operational and strategic distances.

“I am very proud of the entire team and our aviation enterprise partners," said Maj. Gen. Robert Barrie, Program Executive Officer, Aviation. “They've worked diligently to ensure that the Army delivers a new, vertical lift capability that meets its modernization objectives.”

The Army followed a deliberate and disciplined process in evaluating proposals to ensure rigorous review and equitable treatment of both competitors.

“Our ability to support this critical Army aviation modernization program is a testament to the outstanding commitment and capabilities of our contracting professionals across the acquisition workforce,” said Joseph Giunta Jr., senior contracting official for Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal. “The FLRAA award reinforces our ability to maximize the spectrum of authorities available in our contracting tool kit to meet high-priority Army needs.”

By implementing reform initiatives granted by Congress that were designed to streamline the acquisition process, this contract will deliver virtual prototypes that can be updated quickly and affordably. These virtual prototypes will directly support design, integration, training and developmental test activities.

As the Army transforms to meet an uncertain future, FLRAA is one of the many modernized capabilities that will help ensure that the Army of 2030 is ready and able to win when the nation calls.



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Old 5th Dec 2022, 23:16
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well it's great news for everybody not paying the bill !!
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 00:14
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Originally Posted by Sir Korsky View Post
well it's great news for everybody not paying the bill !!
With Sikorsky and Boeing's track record on recent programs the Bell offering was probably 1/2 the cost of their proposal.

Congratulation Team Valor!
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 00:32
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Here is the official skinny from Bell

https://news.bellflight.com/en-US/22...OhFxz7NKbvHjUg

cheers
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 01:13
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Well done Bell! Sikorsky screwed the pooch on this one and Bell was ahead all the way.

​​​​​​
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 05:55
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
Well done Bell! Sikorsky screwed the pooch on this one and Bell was ahead all the way.

​​​​​​
In what way? Up to this point, I had understood that Sikorsky had done a good job putting together an incremental step that could have done the job, however, Bell shifted the model for an entirely different more advanced approach. What did Sikorsky miss with a conventional approach?

I'm extremely happy that Bell has succeeded because I was concerned that the army may be too short-sited and go with a very conventional approach, as they did with the Cheyenne many years ago... I I'm happy because I believe that Bell's speed and range are tremendous advantage and the teething pain should be less due to the osprey experience.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 07:20
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Originally Posted by The Sultan View Post
With Sikorsky and Boeing's track record on recent programs the Bell offering was probably 1/2 the cost of their proposal.

Congratulation Team Valor!
That and their concept actually worked as advertised
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 07:33
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Originally Posted by Zionstrat2 View Post
In what way? Up to this point, I had understood that Sikorsky had done a good job putting together an incremental step that could have done the job, however, Bell shifted the model for an entirely different more advanced approach. What did Sikorsky miss with a conventional approach?

I'm extremely happy that Bell has succeeded because I was concerned that the army may be too short-sited and go with a very conventional approach, as they did with the Cheyenne many years ago... I I'm happy because I believe that Bell's speed and range are tremendous advantage and the teething pain should be less due to the osprey experience.

One could hardly call X2 conventional. It is an advanced concept that at least for now seems to be "a bridge too far". As one wag put it, Bell was able to do more with six blades than Sikorsky could with 16. It'll be interesting to see what the tests for FARA show since there will be a case of a new technology competing with an advanced, but conventional, rotorcraft .
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 08:21
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So US ground forces will move at 280 knots cruise soon. How fast will the Europeans be? 140?
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 10:04
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Let’s say their performance on what was, supposedly, the less technologically challenging design didn’t inspire confidence.

In what way? Up to this point, I had understood that Sikorsky had done a good job putting together an incremental step that could have done the job
https://www.defensenews.com/industry...d-in-40-years/

While Valor’s first flight was right on schedule in December 2017, Sikorsky and Boeing ran into several issues leading up to their expected first flight, delaying it by more than a year.

First, in early August 2017, Sikorsky’s Raider aircraft, essentially a smaller version of Defiant the company built and flew, crashed at its test flight facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. That left Sikorsky with one Raider aircraft to continue in its internal test program for refining its X2 coaxial helicopter technology for both the FLRAA program and the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft effort.

Then the company struggled to build Defiant’s rotor blades due to manufacturing issues, causing a delay.The team had hoped to fly by the end of 2018, but while running the powertrain systems test bed, engineers discovered a series of issues that caused them to hit pause on testing. Defiant eventually flew for the first time in March 2019.”…..
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 11:25
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David beats Goliath. Actually 2 Goliaths

A decade ago when Lockheed and Boeing announced their teaming for what is now FLRAA, the business press hailed them as the “Dream Team”. The press went on to state that without Boeing’s support as a partner, Bell did not have a chance of winning.

The Bell V-280 Valor prototype was flown on schedule, achieving all specification requirements. The Valor additionally beats the Defiant in both speed and range by large margins. Hopefully, Lockheed and Boeing recognizes Bell as the rightful winner and do not file a protest.

Sometimes small and agile beats large and lumbering.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 11:30
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The main rotor hub drag of Defiant means you could fly it fast or far, but not both. This will also play out in FARA.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 11:36
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Talking to the team about the Bell/Boeing V-22, the V-280 is what happens when you leave it just to Bell...
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 11:52
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Sikorsky partnered with Boeing to disrupt development of Valor. This strategy failed. Both Valor and Defiant cost a lot more than a Black Hawk, use larger engines, higher fuel burn. Army Aviation will shrink over time, or have to locate additional funding.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 12:28
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Originally Posted by noneofyourbusiness View Post
Sikorsky partnered with Boeing to disrupt development of Valor. This strategy failed. Both Valor and Defiant cost a lot more than a Black Hawk, use larger engines, higher fuel burn. Army Aviation will shrink over time, or have to locate additional funding.
Based on your logic the UH-60 should have never replaced the H-1. In fact, no advancement in aviation would ever take place.

Increased speed and range do not come for free. Higher speeds require more power and typically require more fuel. This is physics, not politics.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 14:17
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Originally Posted by Zionstrat2 View Post
In what way? Up to this point, I had understood that Sikorsky had done a good job putting together an incremental step that could have done the job, however, Bell shifted the model for an entirely different more advanced approach. What did Sikorsky miss with a conventional approach?
I've been out of Sikorsky for nearly a decade now, so I can't really speak too much of recent developments. My observations are based on the leadership trajectory of a decade ago. I was part of the small team that built & flew the X2. Most of us were pushed aside with a new crew and leadership that seemed more suited to viewgraphs and animation than aircraft development. Ultimately I'd say they screwed up by not getting their demonstrators working in time. Bell kicked ass on that facet of the program.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 15:01
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
I've been out of Sikorsky for nearly a decade now, so I can't really speak too much of recent developments. My observations are based on the leadership trajectory of a decade ago. I was part of the small team that built & flew the X2. Most of us were pushed aside with a new crew and leadership that seemed more suited to viewgraphs and animation than aircraft development. Ultimately I'd say they screwed up by not getting their demonstrators working in time. Bell kicked ass on that facet of the program.
Would you say that any momentum that X-2 had gained was lost due to a leadership change, to UTC spinning off / selling SAC, or was there an aviation/rotary wing business/market issue that cropped up?
Or was the Army requirement at that point in time not well enough defined?
I seem to recall that initial discussion of what became the S-97 assessed as a case of
"an aircraft that was designed to meet a requirement that didn't exist" or something like that... man, it's been a while.
(IIRC, SAC spent their own money on X-2, or UTC/SAC did. Is that right?)
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 15:13
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
Would you say that any momentum that X-2 had gained was lost due to a leadership change, to UTC spinning off / selling SAC, or was there an aviation/rotary wing business/market issue that cropped up?
Or was the Army requirement at that point in time not being well enough defined? I seem to recall that initial discussion of what became the S-97 was assessed as a case of
"an aircraft that was designed to meet a requirement that didn't exist" or something like that... m an, it's been a while.
(IIRC, SAC spent their own money on X-2, or UTC/SAC did. Is that right?)
The true Sikorsky types had been battling loss of momentum long before X2. X2 was a triumph in that we pulled it off with little management support. Back at the turn of the millennium we were stricken with a series of presidents/VPs from Lockheed, P&W, Boeing, and Bell. They all wanted to fix what was broken at Sikorsky. Besides X2, it was a miracle that the UH60 production program more or less recovered from their fixes, though at a cost to the profitability which led to UTC selling the division.

Sikorsky spent their money on X2. It was all IR&D. I was gone before the spinoff so I can't really talk about what I didn't witness.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 16:19
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Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Based on your logic the UH-60 should have never replaced the H-1. In fact, no advancement in aviation would ever take place.

Increased speed and range do not come for free. Higher speeds require more power and typically require more fuel. This is physics, not politics.
I am not saying there should not be an upgrade, just that the higher capability will cost more. Politics has nothing to do with it. Of course new aircraft will cost more. So the Army flies fewer aircraft, or pays more.

I am not saying there should not be an upgrade, just that the higher capability will cost more. Politics has nothing to do with it. Of course new aircraft will cost more. So the Army flies fewer aircraft, or pays more. Pure speculation, Valor is in, but funding of FARA to production becomes questionable. The tiltrotor is the last major innovation in vertical flight. Congratulations Bell.

Last edited by noneofyourbusiness; 6th Dec 2022 at 18:10.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 16:51
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
The true Sikorsky types had been battling loss of momentum long before X2. X2 was a triumph in that we pulled it off with little management support. Back at the turn of the millennium we were stricken with a series of presidents/VPs from Lockheed, P&W, Boeing, and Bell.
Do you include Borgman in that group? I can PM you if this discussion is getting too sensitive?
it was a miracle that the UH60 production program more or less recovered from their fixes, though at a cost to the profitability which led to UTC selling the division.
Without those two wars spinning up, I wonder at how that might have otherwise played out.
Sikorsky spent their money on X2. It was all IR&D.
Thanks, that's what I had heard, and I think I had read a post from you a (long) while back covering that bit.
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