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Textron (TXT) Secures $1.4B Army Deal for FLRAA Program

Textron Inc.’s TXT business segment, Bell, recently secured a contract for the development of the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. The award has been offered by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Valued at $1.36 billion, the contract is expected to be completed by Apr 5, 2031. Work related to this deal will be carried out in Fort Worth, TX.

A Brief Note on FLRAA

The aforementioned contract is based on Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor, which was developed and tested as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program that began in 2013. The V-280 progressed through design, manufacturing, and more than three years of rigorous flight testing that provided extensive data validating the technical and operational advantages of the aircraft for long-range assault missions.

The initial contract refines the FLRAA weapon system design, sustainment, digital enterprise, manufacturing, systems integration, flight-testing and airworthiness qualification.

What’s Favoring Textron?

Countries across the globe have been reinforcing their military resources due to intense geopolitical tensions and amplified terrorist threats.

Among other combat arsenals and weaponry, military helicopters have also been gaining importance owing to advancements and integration of new tactical and logistical features. This has provided ample opportunities for Textron to win production and modification contracts for helicopters in recent times. The latest contract is an example of that. Such contract wins are likely to boost revenues from the Bell unit.

Growth Prospects

The bumped-up defense budget of many nations, as a repercussion of the Russian-Ukraine war, has resulted in a surge in demand for military arms and ammunition of late. This may have led to increased defense spending on military helicopters as well.

Per a report from Mordor Intelligence, the military rotorcraft market is likely to expand at a CAGR of more than 4% during the 2022-2027 period. This is likely to benefit Textron, with its Bell segment consistently innovating combat helicopters as well as upgrading the existing models to expand in the military rotorcraft market. In March 2022, Bell submitted its final Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) proposal revision to the U.S. Army and expects to receive the contract in October 2022.

The growth prospects of the military rotorcraft market should also benefit other defense primes like Lockheed Martin LMT, Boeing BA and Northrop Grumman NOC, which have already established their position in the military helicopter arena.

Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business segment provides military and rotary-wing aircraft to U.S. armed forces along with military services and commercial operators in 40 nations. Some of its product ranges include CH-53K, S-92, UH-60 Black Hawk, etc.

Lockheed Martin’s long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 6.2%. LMT shares have risen 41.1% in the past year.

Boeing’s portfolio of helicopters comprises the AH-6 Little Bird, AH-64 Apache, V-22 Osprey and H-47 Chinook aircraft and in-development entrants, which include the MH-139A Grey Wolf and DEFIANT X. Its military rotorcraft is currently used by the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force as well as allied defense forces in over 20 countries across the globe.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Boeing’s 2022 earnings implies an improvement of 6% from the 2021 reported figure. BA’s shares have moved up 11.8% in the past three months.

Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout is a combat-proven, autonomous helicopter system providing real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target-acquisition, laser designation and battle management for tactical users without relying on manned aircraft or space-based assets. It’s available in two variants – MQ-8B Fire Scout and MQ-8C Fire Scout.

Northrop Grumman has a long-term earnings growth rate of 3.3%. NOC’s shares have rallied 48.4% in the past year.

Price Performance

Shares of Textron have lost 2.5% in the past year against the industry’s rise of 4.1%.

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Zacks Rank

Textron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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