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Bell, Sikorsky to Advance in Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Program; Bruce Jette Quoted

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Army has selected Textron’s (NYSE: TXT) Bell subsidiary and Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Sikorsky business for the second phase of the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competition.

Both down-selected offerors will aim to complete air vehicle detailed design, construction and test efforts before the government evaluates their platforms at a flight test slated to happen by the fall of 2023, the Army said Wednesday.

Bruce Jette, acquisition chief of the Army and a 2020 Wash100 awardee, said the branch identified the FARA program as its top "aviation modernization priority" and key to help combatant commands counter adversaries' integrated air defense systems.

The service initially awarded separate prototyping contracts in April last year to Bell, Sikorsky, Boeing (NYSE: BA) and a team comprised of AVX Aircraft and L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX).

Phase one of the program concluded with initial design and risk assessment efforts.

According to the Army, it wants a FARA platform that can operate in complex airspace and a degraded environment to defeat peer or near-peer adversaries.

In a separate press release, Bell said it will further develop the 360 Invictus rotorcraft for the competition and partnered with Collins Aerospace to build an avionics system.

Sikorsky’s offering is based on its S-97 Raider attack helicopter and X2 technology.

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