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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

11 July 2016

FIA2016: Textron Features Broad Product Lineup of its Businesses

Textron Aviation, Textron AirLand, Textron Systems, Bell Helicopter, TRU Simulation + Training, and Textron Airborne Solutions, all businesses of Textron, are showcasing their expertise at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

The Farnborough Airshow is a great venue to showcase our numerous commercial, defense, special mission and training solutions across our broad range of business platforms,” Scott Donnelly, Textron’s Chairman and CEO, said. “For the first time ever, six of our businesses will be represented at an international show. Our full lineup will feature advanced rotorcraft, tactical turboprop and jet aircraft, precision weapons and unmanned aircraft; we look forward to meeting with customers and attendees from around the world who will experience our new and advanced products.”

Textron Aviation and Beechcraft Defense highlight their special mission and defence capabilities, including a static display of the Fusion-equipped Beechcraft King AIR 350ER, Cessna Grand CARAVAN EX and the Beechcraft T-6C.

Making its Farnborough International Airshow debut is the Beechcraft King AIR 350ER featuring the Pro Line Fusion avionics system, which recently received certification from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Pro Line Fusion for the King AIR brings one of the most trusted avionics architectures to the first full touchscreen flight display.

Beechcraft King Air 350ER Demonstrator.

Alongside the King AIR 350ER, Textron Aviation displays the Cessna Grand CARAVAN EX featuring the newly designed light-weight production seats and a stowable utility seat. Both the King AIR 350ER and Grand CARAVAN EX on display will highlight a variety of special mission applications, including a surveillance console, medical stretcher and a variety of seating configurations. Beechcraft Defense offers one the most advanced military flight trainers, the Beechcraft T-6 TEXAN II. The T-6C aircraft on display features the state-of-the-art, all-digital, open-architecture glass cockpit offering the visibility necessary for completing complex missions. Beechcraft has delivered more than 900 T-6 trainers, which have amassed more than 2.9 million flight hours. Most recently, the company announced its plans to provide 10 Beechcraft T-6C TEXAN II military training aircraft to the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Military Flying Training System to train the next generation of military pilots.

Designed and built with leading-edge technologies, Textron Airland’s SCORPION jet is on display, marking the aircraft’s fifth trans-Atlantic crossing. In two years of flight operations, the SCORPION has deployed to 10 countries, participated in military training exercises and operations, flown numerous US and international military pilots and amassed more than 650 flight hours. The SCORPION provides great acquisition and operating costs with a dispatch reliability rating exceeding 98 percent, according to the company.

The SCORPION is very versatile in terms of mission flexibility with its centre payload bay, six hard points, high dash speeds, and extended endurance, and loiter time at cruise speeds. The jet is built to excel in many roles, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, close air support, armed reconnaissance, maritime and border patrol, and jet training missions. The first production aircraft is expected to make its first flight this summer.

Textron Systems exhibits its proven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), geospatial solutions software, and smart and precision weapon systems designed to serve the needs of militaries, security forces and other customers around the globe. In the area of UAS, it will display its SHADOW M2, the next-generation variant of the proven SHADOW 200 Tactical UAS (TUAS). Building upon a family of UAS with nearly one million flight hours, the SHADOW M2 adds new features for even greater mission capability and performance. The aircraft accommodates higher-altitude flight and offers flexible payload configurations, allowing it to serve in similar mission capacities to much larger, more expensive systems, according to the company.  Also on display will be the expeditionary AEROSONDE Small UAS (SUAS), which offers proven multi-mission performance in both military and commercial land-and-sea based applications. The AEROSONDE is also equipped for real-time, full-motion video and communications relay within a single flight, and offers dedicated space and power to integrate additional capabilities based on customer requirements.

Textron Systems' SHADOW M2 and AEROSONDE UAS.

Textron Systems also demonstrates its software RemoteView for image viewing, annotation and exploitation of geospatial data. From its Weapon & Sensor Systems division, Textron Systems exhibits its advanced G-CLAW and FURY precision guided munitions. These products can be integrated onto a variety of platforms including Textron Systems’ SHADOW M2 TUAS, Cessna’s Special Missions CARAVAN and Textron AirLand’s SCORPION jet. In addition, Textron Systems’ Unattended Ground Sensor MicroObserver is showcased for its ease of use and covertness in the field.

Textron's FURY, aka Thales FF LMM on Harris (then Exelis) BRU-55/A Smart Rack.

Bell Helicopter showcase the Bell 407GXP, a highly versatile, state-of-the-art helicopter with more than 1,200 already delivered world-wide. With a cabin configurable for an array of missions and equipment, the 407GXP delivers reliability, speed, performance and maneuverability. In addition, Bell displays the Bell 429. Delivering exceptional speed, range, hover performance and a sizeable passenger cabin, the Bell 429 also offers operators a state-of-the-art single pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) helicopter with top user-rated in-service support. Also at the show are mockups of the Bell 505 Jet RANGER X, Bell 525 RELENTLESS, and Bell V-280 VALOR tiltrotor on static display. In addition, the Bell Boeing V-22 OSPREY is scheduled to perform daily flight demonstrations. The OSPREY routinely performs a variety of global missions as the most in-demand aircraft with the US Marine Corps. The flexibility of tiltrotor is repeatedly demonstrated in crisis response and humanitarian relief campaigns, and the V-22 continues to transform rotorcraft operations everywhere.

By January 2016, the V-280 demonstrator was 23 percent complete, with the fuselage and wings mated together in early May 2016.

TRU Simulation + Training highlights its training centers and air transport training capabilities at FIA. Delivering high fidelity and innovative training products along with technical support and customer service, TRU offers a total training solution customised to specific customer requirements. As recently announced, TRU Simulation + Training and Bell Helicopter will open the first Bell Helicopter training center in Valencia, Spain later in 2016, with the Bell 429 as the initial training platform. The training will be conducted via a full flight simulator (FFS) which will be designed and produced by TRU Simulation + Training.

Textron's new business unit, Textron Airborne Solutions, consists of Airborne Tactical Advantage, an industry-leading provider of tactical flight training and adversary services, which was recently acquired by Textron.  Professional former US fighter pilots provide various types of “adversary air” to the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps using their fleet of 27 fighter and tactical aircraft, thereby allowing the US Department of Defense to save precious flight hours on its front line fighter aircraft.