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Bell TR918 Eagle Eye Achieves Successful First Flight

Bell TR918 Eagle Eye Achieves Successful First Flight

Deepwater Applauds Success of Privately-Funded Risk Reduction Demonstrator, January 28, 2006.

Rosslyn, Virginia -- (Deepwater) January 26, 2005 -- Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the successful first flight today of its TR918 Eagle Eye unmanned aircraft, a privately-funded, full-scale risk reduction demonstrator of the Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (VUAV) in development for the Integrated Deepwater System. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC], awarded Bell Helicopter a contract to commence concept and preliminary design work for its Eagle Eye tilt rotor (1) VUAV in February 2003.

Bell Helicopter's TR918 Eagle Eye unmanned tiltrotor performed its first flight at the company's Fort Worth, Texas facilities. Courtesy Bell Photo.

Eagle Eye performed its first flight in Fort Worth, Texas

“On behalf of ICGS, I applaud Bell Helicopter for the successful first flight of the Eagle Eye tilt rotor VUAV - the first of its kind for any of the armed forces,” said Leo Mackay, ICGS president. “The company’s private investment in this program is a clear indication of its commitment to delivering a quality product to the Coast Guard and Team Deepwater.”

The Eagle Eye is a medium-altitude, shipboard and land deployable unmanned aircraft that will allow the Coast Guard to extend the surveillance, classification and identification capability of its major cutters through its speed, range, and endurance, all at a lower cost than manned aircraft. The Eagle Eye will be deployed aboard the National Security Cutter (NSC) and the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) as part of the maritime security cutter “force package.”

The first flight of the TR918 Eagle Eye comes on the heels of recently receiving a certificate of airworthiness for experimental flight-testing from the Federal Aviation Administration. The first VUAV is planned to be delivered to the Coast Guard for developmental test and evaluation in 2008.

About Integrated Deepwater System

IDS is a critical multiyear, multibillion dollar program to modernize and replace the Coast Guard’s aging ships and aircraft and improve systems for logistics and command and control. It is the largest recapitalization effort in the history of the Coast Guard. When complete, the interoperable IDS system will include three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets are linked by C4ISR systems and are supported by an efficient and progressive integrated logistics system.

About Integrated Coast Guard Systems

ICGS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC). ICGS was awarded the Deepwater contract in June 2002. Headquartered in Rosslyn, Va., core leadership teams are located in Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and
Washington, D.C.

(1) The Eagle Eye uses the same tiltrotor system as other Bell-Boeing VTOL designs, most notably the V-22 Osprey (Bell-Boeing) and the Quad TiltRotor.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).