GE Aerospace lands big US Army assault aircraft deal

EVENDALE — GE Aerospace has been selected to work on the development of a portion of the Bell V-280 Valor assault aircraft, a cross between a large helicopter and a small airplane. GE did not disclose the financial terms of the contract.

Following the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program contract award, the V-280 Valor will “enable the Army and its allies to maintain battlefield superiority including transformation capabilities in speed, range, payload and endurance,” GE said in a press release. GE said it will provide digital backbone, voice and data recorder and health awareness systems for the aircraft to help enable the army’s open, scalable, high-speed data infrastructure.

The voice and data recorder is a system to acquire, transfer, process and analyze flight and voice data.

According to the company, the health awareness system builds on decades of commercial and military operation and has saved operators millions of dollars and increased mission readiness.

“This is a foundational effort to improve weapon system capability and affordability for the Army by ensuring architectural alignment for integration of new technology,” said Ryan Ehinger, senior vice president and program director for FLRAA at Bell. “This collaborative approach provides the Army a vendor-agnostic path to explore new systems and capabilities – delivering soldiers the right tools for success in multi-domain missions.”

According to GE, the work it is able to do on this aircraft will ensure that “our soldiers have an advantage on the battlefield.”

“By leveraging GE’s experience in delivering open avionics architecture, the Army will realize the benefits to... (this) approach,” said Amy Gowder, president and CEO, Defense & Systems for GE Aerospace.

GE is one of the biggest employers in the area. In 2021 the company announced that it was splitting into three public companies following rumors that it would leave the Tri-State. In January 2023, the aviation unit, GE Aerospace, announced it’s new corporate headquarters was going to stay in the Greater Cincinnati region after the Boston-based parent company finalized the split. The aviation unit was a 9,000-employee enterprise at the time with annual revenue of about $22 billion.

It’s a win for Cincinnati’s economic development efforts, which lobbied to retain the corporate staff that GE Aviation employed here for decades. GE Aviation changed its name to GE Aerospace last summer.

“It’s a great feather in the cap for the region,” said Doug Moormann, vice president at Development Strategies Group Downtown. “It’s another example we can point to that this is a place where corporations can be successful.”

GE Aerospace bills itself as “a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft.”

The company has not said exactly how much this new contract is worth. GE Aerospace also did not say how many new jobs would be created as a result.

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