Bell Textron has announced plans to open a new systems integration lab (SIL) at the Bell Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The facility is intended to support Bell’s participation in the U.S Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programs. According to the company, the SIL will be used to conduct risk reduction, integration, verification and validation testing on air vehicle and mission systems along with testing software aimed at meeting Future Vertical Lift (FVL) complete weapon system development program requirements.
“Our team has proven we are able to deliver leap-ahead, flight-proven performance and successfully complete rapid design, build and rigorous flight test programs,” said Bell Advanced Vertical Lift Systems executive vice president Keith Flail. “This SIL is the next step in bringing both FLRAA and FARA solutions to fruition for the U.S. Army.”
Last year, Bell opened new manufacturing technology and commercial business centers in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a multipurpose facility in Wichita, Kansas, to support FLRAA- and FARA-related growth. The company is working on the 360 Invictus rotorcraft for the FARA program and the V-280 Valor tiltrotor for FLRAA. Construction on the SIL facility is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Perhaps good idea given the fatal error in software for a new helicopter a few years ago.