CAE secures contract with Bell for US Army FLRAA program

CAE, a player in simulation, joins forces with Bell Textron Inc. to provide training aids, simulators and simulations for the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

This collaboration aims to improve operator and maintainer skills for Bell’s tiltrotor, selected as the next-generation attack aircraft under the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative.

The contract includes the delivery of training components, including maintenance training aids, simulators and simulations. As part of the initial award, CAE will lead virtual prototypes, visual imaging systems and radio simulations for mobile flight trainers, laying the groundwork for future developments in virtual maintenance training.

The Bell tiltrotor, selected by the US military under the FVL program, aims to promise flexibility, minimized downtime and mission security. As the FLRAA program progresses, CAE envisions contributing its simulation expertise to ensure mission readiness for the Army’s next-generation aircraft.

The competition included a Sikorsky-Boeing proposal. However, the US Army awarded the FLRAA contract to Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor, leading to Sikorsky’s formal protest. Despite the protest, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied Sikorsky’s challenge, confirming the selection of the V-280 Valor for the FLRAA program.

The FLRAA is scheduled for acquisition by 2030. The resulting platform will replace the UH-60 Black Hawks that have become ubiquitous in the US military, according to GlobalData’s insights into the US defense market.

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Dan Gelston, group president of CAE Defense & Security, emphasizes the importance of the FVL program, stating, “The US Army’s commitment to aviation modernization and transformative capabilities aligns perfectly with CAE’s dedication to providing cutting-edge simulation solutions.” . Gelston expresses CAE’s pleasure to work with Bell and to be part of Team Valor, strengthening their partnership.

Ryan Ehinger, senior vice president and program manager for FLRAA at Bell, emphasizes the importance of operator and maintainer training. “Operator and maintainer training are key aspects of ensuring FLRAA weapon system capabilities for our warfighters. We look forward to continuing to work with CAE as we support the Army in its critical efforts to modernize and increase the lethality of our nation’s soldiers.”

The partnership between CAE and Bell, which began in 2021, reflects a shared vision for the Future Vertical Lift family of systems. CAE’s involvement includes maintenance training devices, flight training devices and training products, further strengthening their shared commitment to advancing the capabilities of military aviation.

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