Lockheed Martin will join Bell Helicopter to build a new tilt-rotor aircraft, officials said Monday.
Three of Lockheed Martin’s business units will join Bell in developing the V-280 Valor, a “third-generation” tilt-rotor able to reach altitudes over 6,000 feet, company officials said. The company’s larger V-22 Osprey flies at 13,000 feet and is designed for a different set of missions, Bell officials said.
Lockheed’s part of the deal is to equip the Valor with a mission equipment package, officials said. The package will reflect many of the technological advancements that produced Lockheed Martin’s F-35 joint strike fighter Lightning II, being built at its west side factory.
“We are very excited,” Bell President and CEO John Garrison said in a statement Monday. Lockheed Martin’s “experience and innovation ... will help us provide the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness required for future vertical lift missions.”
Bell’s V-280 Valor is expected to compete for an Army contract in a Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program. The contract is expected to be awarded this month, according to Bell.