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Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor flew for the first time on Monday 18 December 2017 from their facility in Amarillo, Texas.

The demonstrator aircraft is part of the Joint Multi-role Helicopter (JMR) Program, which Bell finished building in September, and had been doing restrained and then unrestrained ground runs up until this week.

Bell V-280

The V-280 Valor is a technology demonstrator for the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) program which will inform the design of a Future Vertical Lift (FVL) helicopter fleet expected to enter service in the 2030s and replace the existing fleet of UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, and OH-58 Kiowa helicopter. The objective of the FVL fleet will be to go twice as fast, twice as far with increased agility and flexible payloads.

V280-helicopterta1

The way the US Army is approaching the JMR program will probably serve as a model for future major acquisition programs where prototyping is done early on and leads to the faster delivery of more capable and reliable weapon systems.

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