Astronics to develop power supply systems for Bell’s FARA and FLRAA programs

Astronics Corporation Press Release | July 22, 2020

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Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technology to the global aerospace, defense and other critical industries, recently announced the award of contracts received from Bell Textron Inc., a Texton company Inc., for Astronics to advance its power generation and distribution of CorePower cell power. to support Bell’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programs. These programs are part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift initiative to improve vertical lift dominance with next-generation capabilities.

Concept art of the Bell 360 Invictus attack reconnaissance helicopter. Bell

Bell was recently selected for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction phase of the FLRAA program, which aims to replace the UH-60 Blackhawk in the Army fleet. Bell’s candidate aircraft for the FLRAA program is the V-280 Valor. Astronics was selected by Bell to develop the power generation, conversion and distribution system for the V-280. The development program is expected to be executed over the next 18-24 months.

Bell also won a competitive prototype contract for the FARA program, which is the planned replacement of the OH-58D Kiowa in the Army fleet. The Bell model of the FARA program is the 360 ​​Invictus. Again, Bell chose Astronics to develop the aircraft’s power generation and distribution system.

The Bell 360 Invictus and V-280 Valor focus not only on breakthrough capabilities, but also on innovative processes to mitigate technical risks, improve survivability and increase lethality at an affordable cost.

Both efforts will integrate Astronics’ CorePower family of solutions, using solid-state electronic circuit breaker technology to provide clean, efficient power that improves aircraft performance and reduces system weight. The contracts cover the design and development of the electrical system, including integration services and preliminary equipment deliveries. Astronics airframe power systems are used in military and civilian aircraft programs around the world.

Peter J. Gundermann, Chairman, President and CEO of Astronics, said: “Over the years, we have provided Bell with many innovative solutions for their aircraft. Our CorePower technology is incorporated into the Bell 505 and Bell 525 aircraft, which have benefited from the flexibility, reliability and efficiency provided by our solid-state architecture. The success of these programs led Bell to select us for their Bell 360 and V-280 platforms for the US Army’s FARA and FLRAA programs, and we are delighted to participate.

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