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Bell Sees Growth in Military, Civil Markets (Nov 9)

ORLANDO, FL. --- Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc., has had a tremendously successful year of growth and expansion, and while NBAA is primarily a commercial show, no discussion of Bell’s success in 2005 would be complete without addressing the list of accomplishments Bell has shared with the Department of Defense.

“For more than 55 years Bell Helicopter has been a huge fan of our men and women in uniform,” said Bell Chief Executive Officer Mike Redenbaugh. “From the delivery of the first two YH-13As to the Army on March 8, 1946 to the upcoming delivery of 368 new, state-of-the-art Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters by 2013, Bell Helicopter has and will continue to be a proud partner of our military.”

The highlight of the military success for Bell in 2005 was the successful completion of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey Operational Evaluation, as well as the Department of Defense approving the V-22 to proceed to full-rate production. This clears the way for Bell-Boeing to increase aircraft delivery to the goal of 48 per year by 2012.

“Tiltrotor technology has been in development for more than 40 years and this full-rate production decision is a testament to the vision, innovation, determination and tenacity of the men and women who made the dream a reality,” said Redenbaugh. Bell continues to show the scalability of this revolutionary tiltrotor technology through the development of the civil BA609 and the Eagle Eye unmanned aerial system.

This year also saw Bell’s continuing support of the U.S. Army armed reconnaissance mission with the awarding in July of the $2.2 billion contract to build the Army’s next generation ARH.

“The new ARH will replace the Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior currently operating with tremendous success all over the world,” Redenbaugh explained. “We are so proud and honored the Army selected Bell to continue the tradition of Bell support of the armed reconnaissance mission.”

Additional achievements in the military vertical lift market included a place on the winning team responsible for building the VH-71A (Marine Corps One) Presidential helicopter with Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland, the establishment of a state-of-the-art, 82,000 square foot Repair and Overhaul Center, as well as the submission of the Bell 412 to serve as the Army’s new Light Utility Helicopter.

“This has been an amazing year for Bell. Our strategy is sound, a balanced business with focus on tiltrotors and helicopters, along with being balanced with a focus on military and commercial along with aircraft and their full life-cycle support and service,” Redenbaugh said. “But our successes in 2005 are celebrated while always being mindful of the warriors who are flying our helicopters in harms way all over the world, everyday and those service members that support them. They do this so that we can all enjoy a life of freedom and democracy. They are true heroes and are always in our hearts and minds.”

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a leading producer of commercial and military helicopters and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce of over 8000 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries. (ends)
Bell Helicopter Continues 55 Year Tradition of Support for U.S. Military