The V-280 Valor is a third-generation tilt-rotor vertical lift helicopter being developed by the US-based aircraft manufacturer, Bell Helicopter Textron.
The helicopter is intended to meet the requirement of the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) programme supporting the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme of the US Army.
Bell’s director of global business development for advanced tiltrotor systems, Chris Gehler, said in a recent interview that the V-280 has the potential to be both a troop carrier and gunship when outfitted with different payloads:
“We already know the Marine Corps would like to have one aircraft replace utility and attack,” Gehler explains.
“We’ve been working with them on developing an attack variant of the V-280 that could be – whether it’s wholly attack or one that can be interchangeable back between utility and attack – if not the same airframe, very identical.”
According to Sydney Freedberg at BreakingDefense, a lot of thought has been put into these designs:
“But these aren’t land-based troop transports like the prototype Bell’s already flying for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) demonstration program. They’re heavily armed gunships.
One, in Army colors, has missile racks sticking out of what was originally the passenger cabin — a conversion that units could potentially install or remove as needed in the field. The other, with Marine Corps markings, is a sleeker thoroughbred gunship with internal weapons bays, stealth features, and folding wings to fit in shipboard hangars.”