The companies have signed a teaming agreement to research engine designs to improve safety, performance and affordability for future aircraft.

Bell Helicopter announced a teaming agreement with Rolls-Royce for the development of an optimized propulsion system and continued risk reduction efforts aimed at the V-280 Valor and V-247 advanced vertical lift platforms last month.

The collaboration, say the firm, will focus on the integration of Rolls-Royce’s advanced propulsion systems into future Bell aircraft.

Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell, said:

“The goal of this collaboration is to further enhance the performance and affordability of our aircraft. Future Vertical Lift programs bring revolutionary solutions for warfighters; Bell and Rolls-Royce are focused on delivering those capabilities.”

As part of this teaming agreement, Bell will lead the design, development and production of advanced vertical lift systems, and Rolls-Royce will provide its technical expertise in propulsion systems to provide potential customers with tested, high-performance solutions.

Jason Propes, senior vice-president, Defense Customer Relations at Rolls-Royce, said:

“Bell is at the forefront of creating highly capable and sustainable aircraft that vastly outperform legacy platforms, and Rolls-Royce is a world leader in advanced engines and propulsion systems. We are excited to enhance our long-standing relationship with Bell and help deliver on customer requirements through innovative solutions and proven technologies.”

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Aerial in flight refueling? Crucial given the F35bs shorter range.


I’m not convinced the V280 or V247 would be worth having, the service ceiling seems too Low for AWACS and the payload too limited for COB. MV22 would probably be worth having in both roles.


But a massive improvement over anything a merlin or chinook can do. V22 would be my first choice but its expensive and it has been around since the 80s!

Bloke down the pub

V 247 service ceiling 25000′

Daniele Mandelli

Love the artwork.

The artwork is misidentified as the Bell V 247 Vigilant, when it’s actually the V 280 Valor.


Development of the Osprey to the next level utilising a lift fan type system instead of the existing rotor based system.
This will be a game changer for the Osprey and will certainly end up with something we can use on the QE’s for AWACS and refuelling.


What i have been unable to track down is whether Aster can be fired solely from a target lock from the Merlin crowsnest or requires the destroyers own radar to get a lock.


Pretty certain that information would be classified. However, both ship and aircraft use Link 16, therefore the information can be sent to the ship and Aster launched in a lock-on after launch mode. Aster has a datalink, so mid course guidance can be transmitted, before Aster’s radar is activated – Cooperative Engagement Capability on the cheap.


It’s just a real shame that we will never see a Aw609 flying of a QE, would be good to have had a bit of sovereign capability in military tilt rotor.

Captain P Wash

I have quite a few Pics of It Flying. None of which were anywhere near QE but It sure was Impressive. Lucky enough to have watched a full display.

Personally, i’m not too sure If It would ever be any better than the Merlin HM2 though. Much prefer to see a Modern Day Gannet.

That Double Mamba was a Peach of an engine.

Chris H

I recall having this discussion on here a long while ago when I thought the AW609 offered some real advantages for QE or indeed any naval asset. The AW609 has a service ceiling of 25,000 ft, endurance of some 3 hours and a nett lift (empty wt vs MTOW) of some 3,200 Kgs. Merlin offers a service ceiling of some 15,000 ft, endurance of 5 hours and a nett lift of some 4,000 Kgs My thoughts were that for AWACS the extra height and therefore its visible horizon outweighed the lower weight and endurance capability neither of which would affects… Read more »