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

Astronics Corporation Press Release | July 22, 2020

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, recently announced contract awards received from Bell Textron Inc., a Texton Inc. company, for Astronics to advance its CorePower airframe electrical generation and power distribution systems 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 Image

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

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

The Bell 360 Invictus and V-280 Valor emphasize not just revolutionary capability, but innovative processes to mitigate technical risk, improve survivability, and increase lethality at an affordable cost.

The two efforts will incorporate Astronics’ CorePower family of solutions, employing solid state electronic circuit breaker technology to deliver clean, efficient power that improves aircraft performance and reduces system weight. The contracts entail power system design and development, including integration services and preliminary hardware deliveries. Astronics airframe power systems serve on military and civil aircraft programs worldwide.

Peter J. Gundermann, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Astronics, said, “Over the years, we have provided Bell with many innovative solutions for their aircraft. Our CorePower technology is designed into the Bell 505 and Bell 525 aircraft, which have benefitted from the flexibility, reliability, and efficiency our solid state architecture provides. The success of these programs led Bell to select us for their Bell 360 and V-280 platforms for the U.S. Army’s FARA and FLRAA programs, and we are pleased to participate.”

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