Bell 360 Invictus Attack Helicopter Gets a Helping Hand From Sierra Nevada Corporation

Bell 360 Invictus 7 photos
Photo: Bell
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There is a lot of turmoil these days in the world of defense contractors, as pretty much all the branches of the American military are on the lookout for the next generation of hardware for their needs. From seafaring ships to arctic explorers, there seems to be nothing the military is not looking to buy.
The fiercest competition seems to take place in the helicopter realm. There, two major programs are currently ongoing, both at the hands of the U.S. Army and will likely result in some incredible new machines being constructed: the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) one.

The latter sees Sikorsky pitting the S-97 Raider against Bell’s 360 Invictus, two machines that are still being put together, not only by the two giants, but also with help from other partner companies.

Bell, for instance, announced this week it tapped Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for help with the Invictus. SNC will be the mission systems integrator for the aircraft in Increment 1, meaning it will be in charge with providing mission equipment in a way that is compliant with the modular, open systems approach behind the project.

Bell started putting the aircraft together in the summer of last year. When ready, it will be a beast powered by a General Electric engine as the main powerplant, and a Pratt & Whitney unit for extra power. The helicopter should be capable of reaching a speed of 210 mph (330 kph).

“FARA will be a significant increase in the Army’s attack and reconnaissance mission capability,” said in a statement Derek Hess, vice president of business development at SNC.

“SNC is committed to delivering the next-generation mission capabilities Army Aviation needs for the future fight. We are proud to join Team Invictus in the Army modernization effort.”

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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