The design of the Bell 360 Invictus emphasizes exceptional performance by using proven technologies over time.
According to the Defense Blog, recently, Bell, a famous US helicopter manufacturer, has just released a video showing the long-range attack capability of the Bell 360 Invictus stealth helicopter. The video illustrates an Invictus that can destroy an entire S-400 air defense system.
Bell 360 Invictus is a product of Bell Helicopter Company, a member of the American Textron Group. The helicopter was first announced at the Association of the United States Army in mid-2019. This product is a candidate for the US Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, which will begin serving the US Army by 2030.
The manufacturer confidently declares that it will provide the soldiers with a reasonable solution, a leading agile and terrifying helicopter to win on the modern battlefield. The new helicopter is expected to replace the US current UH-60 Black Hawk multirole helicopter and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.
Bell’s innovative approach to designing the 360 Invictus prototype incorporates proven low-risk technologies that meet or exceed all FARA program requirements. According to Vince Tobin, Bell’s deputy director of defense business, the 360 Invictus helicopters will bring advanced battlefield awareness as well as affordable attack options.
The design of the Bell 360 Invictus emphasizes exceptional performance by using proven technologies over time. For example, the Invictus rotor system, is based on the Bell 525 Relentless rotor system that has been tested and proven to operate at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Even so, Invictus will use a single engine and four-blade rotor while the 525 will use a twin engines and five-blade rotor.
By combining the proven design and the best technologies available from military and commercial programs, it can be said that the Bell 360 Invictus converges all the advantages to be able to replace the role of many types of US helicopters today.
According to the published image, the Bell 360 Invictus has a sleek appearance, narrow fuselage to reduce the rate of hit by bullets or missiles when attacked directly. It was equipped with a two-seat tandem cockpit for the pilot and a fire officer.
A characteristic ribbed line runs along the length of the fuselage. Below the main rotor is a pair of mid-mounted stub wings to provide lift, an active horizontal stabilizer at the tail and a tilted and shrouded tail rotor. The tail section design not only helped reduce noise but also protected the tail rotor from debris on the ground and enemy firepower to some degree.
Its main engine will be a single General Electric T901 turboshaft engine, with supplemental power provided by a Pratt & Whitney PW207D1 turboshaft.
Representatives of Bell said that the US Army requires the 360 Invictus helicopter prototype to meet the ability to fly at a speed of 340 km/h, a range of nearly 300km, and carried 1 ton of weapons hidden in the fuselage.
The new feature of 360 Invictus is that there is a supplemental power unit that operates independently of the aircraft’s main engine, which allows to increase the combat capability of the helicopter in dangerous cases. It will use fly-by-wire control, the digitized control system has many advantages over the current hydraulic control system of US military helicopters.
The firepower of 360 Invictus is a 20mm three-barreled automatic cannon mounted at the chine combined with 2 weapons pylons hidden in the fuselage to carry missiles and rockets. This design allows for increased stealth of the helicopter.
Bell Group Vice President Jeffrey Schloesser said that the entire integration electronic and weapon system of the 360 Invictus helicopter were designed to be open for easy upgrade and repair through module replacement.
To illustrate the attack and reconnaissance capabilities of this new generation helicopter, the manufacturer has released a video simulating the ability to destroy enemy air defense systems at a safe distance.
What future is for the Bell 360 Invictus?
According to the published images, the target of destruction is the enemy S-400 air defense system. To carry out this difficult task, Bell 360 Invictus carried up to 6 suicide drones. All of these weapons were hidden in the internal weapon bay, similar to stealth fighters. When approaching the target at a sufficient distance, all UAVs were launched to hunt for the target.
Meanwhile, the helicopter stood in a safe location far away to control and launch the attack. Small in size only equivalent to air-to-air missiles and operating almost without noise, the detecting these UAV attacks is a major challenge not just for the S-400.
The attack was completed when the entire enemy air defense was destroyed while the Bell 360 Invictus itself was not exposed and retreated safely.
As expected, by 2023, the design process of Bell 360 will be completed and transferred to trial. Until then, it is likely that the design of the Bell 360 may be revised, to perfection.
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