SNC will be specifically employed by Bell to support the design and development of mission systems for HSVTOL variants.
The HSVTOL project is intended to develop aircraft that combine the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft – combining low downwash hover capabilities with prospective speeds of over 400 knots (740km/h).
Bell says that the family of aircraft concepts being developed as part of the HSVTOL project are ‘designed to carry out US Air Force (USAF) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) missions across the full spectrum … including personnel recovery, contested logistics and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike’.
Bell first unveiled its design concepts employing HSVTOL technology in August 2021, later announcing that its project advanced to the next stage of USAF and USSOCOM’s crowdsourcing AFWERX HSVTOL Concept Challenge in February 2022. Bell is one of 11 companies remaining in the challenge, with over 200 entrants.