Update: AUSA 2021: Bell selects Rolls-Royce engine for V-280

by Pat Host

Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine on display on 13 October at the AUSA annual convention in Washington, DC. Bell will use the engine in its V-280 tiltrotor if it wins the US Army's FLRAA competition. (Janes/Pat Host)

Bell has selected Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine to serve as the propulsion system on the V-280 Valor tiltrotor if the programme wins the US Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.

John Shade, Rolls-Royce executive vice-president of business development and future programmes, told Janes on 11 October at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) convention that the AE 1107F is a modification of the AE 1107C 7,000 shp turboshaft that powers the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The company's AE product family is used on a variety of military aircraft such as the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton, and the Boeing MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial vehicles, he said.

The V-280 was initially powered by a pair of General Electric (GE) T64-GE-419 free turbine turboshaft engines during the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator phase. Ryan Ehinger, Bell vice-president and programme director for FLRAA/V-280, told Janes

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US Congress extends government funding through mid-February

by Marc Selinger

The US House and Senate both passed a temporary measure on 2 December that will keep the federal government, including the US Department of Defense (DoD), funded through 18 February 2022.

The legislation, or continuing resolution (CR), now heads to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law. The CR will replace the one that expires on 3 December.

The CRs are needed to avoid a government shutdown because lawmakers have not passed their 12 regular appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2022, which began on 1 October 2021.

Defence industry groups have urged Congress to quickly complete the regular bills, partly because CRs generally prevent the DoD from starting new programmes or increasing production rates. However, disagreement over funding levels and other issues has delayed completion of the appropriations bills.

As the new CR was heading towards passage, the Biden administration urged Congress to “use the coming weeks to engage in robust bipartisan negotiations to reach agreement on appropriations and avoid the devastating effects of a full-year” CR.

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Avon Protection nears unveiling results of body armour business review

by Marc Selinger

Avon Protection, which has been conducting a “strategic review” of its body armour business, plans to disclose the outcome of that review on 15 December, according to a spokesperson for the UK-based company.

The disclosure will coincide with Avon's release of its fiscal year (FY) 2021 financial results, the spokesperson told Janes on 2 December.

Avon announced in mid-November that it was launching the review after the body armour business experienced problems with products intended for two US customers.

During first article testing of body armour plates being developed for the US Army, a failure occurred, “which will significantly delay the likely approval timetable for this product”, Avon said.

Avon has also experienced delays in obtaining approval for body armour plates destined for the US Defense Logistics Agency. Approval for that product is expected in the January–March 2022 quarter.

In light of these setbacks, the body armour business' contribution to Avon's FY 2022 financial results and beyond will be “significantly reduced”, with the ultimate impact depending on the outcome of the review, the company said. Avon had expected to generate about USD40 million in body armour revenue in FY 2022.

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Brazilian Army merges AFV programmes in reorganisation

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Army is merging its principal wheeled and tracked armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) projects, Colonel Marcelo Yoshida of the Army High-Staff revealed at the 10th Conference of Systems and Military Technology, held in Brasília from 23 to 26 November.

The existing Army Strategic Program Guarani (Prg EE Guarani) and Army Strategic Subprogram Armoured Forces (SPrg F Bld) – part of the wider Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP) – will be merged into a single effort designated Army Strategic Program Armoured Forces (Prg EE F Bld) on 1 January 2022.

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Bell has selected Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine to serve as the propulsion system on the V-280 Valor...

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