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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

22 February 2015

IDEX 2015: Textron Businesses to Showcase Military, Commercial Products and Services

Bell Helicopter, Textron Systems and Textron AirLand, all businesses of Textron, are showcasing a wide variety of military, commercial products and services at IDEX.

Bell Helicopter showcases their commercial and military products to a global audience at the company’s exhibit at stand 03-C30. A model of the new Bell 525 Relentless fly-by-wire commercial helicopter will be on display, along with models of the company’s next generation V-280 tiltrotor and the Bell Boeing V-22 OSPREY.

IDEX is considered by many in our industry to be one of the premiere military and commercial shows in the world. It’s clearly a top regional opportunity,” said Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter’s Vice President of Commercial Business in the Middle East and Africa. “Superior facilities and ideal weather in one of the most modern, hospitable cities in the world continually draws military and commercial operators from across the globe. The show provides a great opportunity for Bell Helicopter and the other Textron businesses exhibiting here to speak face to face with both our military and commercial customers about our innovative new products.”

The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The Bell 525 is being tested in Bell Helicopter’s fully integrated system integration lab (SIL), allowing for virtual flight testing of the Bell 525 before first flight, which is scheduled for Spring 2015.

The Bell booth also features an AH-1Z cockpit simulator. The multi-role capabilities of the company’s AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters are ideally suited to militaries aiming to bolster combat power across the broadest set of missions, with an affordable cost of ownership. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z offer the most effective and efficient means of accomplishing an array of missions, anywhere in the world. The AH-1Z is the world’s most advanced attack helicopter, compatible with the widest array of ordnance of any helicopter in the world.

The US Army-led Joint Multi-Role Demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme is the science and technology (S&T) precursor to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Future Vertical Lift programme expected to replace 2,000 to 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. The US Army and DoD are seeking leap-ahead capabilities and have identified a speed of 230+ knots as a key discriminating capability. The US Army’s current helicopter fleet cruises at 140 knots.

In April 2013, Bell Helicopter, a dvision of Textron, revealed its offering – the Bell V-280 VALOR, a third generation tiltrotor for the JMR-TD programme. Accoding to Bell, the Bell V-280’s, “unmatched, speed, range and payload, operational agility, and low speed maneuverability provide transformational reach and revolutionary capability.”

In August 2014, the JMR-TD government team selected Bell Helicopter to build and fly the V-280 VALOR as part of the demonstration programme. Bell Helicopter and Team Valor are focused on building and flying a trusted, affordable and effective aircraft, and the team is on track for first flight in 2017. The other team members are: Lockheed Martin (cockpit, avionics, distributed aperture system, mission equipment package [MEP]), MOOG(flight control computer and actuators), GE (engines), GKN Aerospace (V-Tails and control surface), Spirit Aerosystems (fuselage), EATON (hydraulic system), Meggitt (fuel system), Astronics ( electronic system), TRU(simulation and training), LORD (elastomerics), and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI - nacelle structures and aircraft seats). On the other side of the bidder table is Sikorsky teaming up with Boeing.

The V-280 should reach a max. speed of 280kn and have its first flight in 2017 with a decision by 2019 and milestone C should be reached by 2030.

The V-280 should also be available in a weaponized version. Up today, this is using HELLFIRE rockets on both sides (24 in all) and a front gun. But it will be open for other weapon options and Bell is looking right know at the option of an inside gun. There are altogether three versions planned: An attack, a MedEvac, and a utility helicopter. The V-280 should not only offer a much higher speed, but also a range that is twice as far. The Bell V-280 VALOR builds upon proven tiltrotor technology to deliver unmatched speed, range and payload with the agility to perform a multitude of missions un-achievable with today’s conventional helicopter. Its clean-sheet design reduces complexity and improves reliability, maintainability and sustainability while reducing total ownerships costs.
The Bell V-280 is a combat force multiplier with superior performance, survivability, and reliability to give the soldier the decisive advantage.

Across from Bell Helicopter, Textron Systems and Textron AirLand are exhibiting their military and commercial products and solutions at stand 03-C07.

Among the unmanned systems solutions Textron Systems will present are: Its SHADOW Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS), utilised by the US Army and Marine Corps (USMC) and the militaries of Australia, Italy, and Sweden; the next-generation SHADOW M2 TUAS; the expeditionary AEROSONDE Small Unmanned Aircraft System, which offers proven multi-mission performance in both military and commercial land-and sea-based applications; and the multi-mission capable Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV).

Textron Systems’ unmanned platforms are utilised around the world, in many cases led by its own operators and maintainers. Based on this expertise, Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Bill Irby participates in a panel discussion at the Unmanned Systems Conference (UMEX) titled, “Understanding Trends in Unmanned Technologies and How it Impacts Future Warfare.” This conference programme will take place on Monday, 23 February at 9:40AM.

Textron Systems will highlights its combat-proven COMMANDO family of four-wheeled armored vehicles at IDEX, including the COMMANDO Elite and COMMANDO Select vehicles, along with marine systems including the new Ship-to-Shore Connector amphibious landing vehicle and Motor Lifeboat for search and rescue missions.

In the area of weapon and sensor systems Textron Systems exhibits its advanced G-CLAW and new FURY precision weapon systems. Also on display are several protection systems: the SPIDER man-in-the-loop system consisting of sensors, communications and munitions; and the flexible, easy to use MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor system.

The Textron AirLand SCORPION Jet was introduced in 2013 and is approaching its 300th hour of flight testing as a highly-affordable twin-engine tactical jet aircraft. SCORPION is designed to support numerous missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, training and precision strike. SCORPION representatives are available at stand 03-C07 during all IDEX show hours. A scale model of the aircraft is displayed, along with video of recent flights, with experts prepared to discuss the performance, versatility and value of the aircraft. In the past year, it has flown to many US states and across the Atlantic. SCORPION’s first-year availability rating was greater than 95%, an extremely high mission capability score for a prototype tactical jet aircraft.

For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #2/2015, available at the show and on booth #C1 10-11. 

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