Army's ARH-70A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Mission Equipment Package Prototype Surpasses 70 Flight Test Hours

April 10, 2006

Fort Worth, TX – April 10, 2006 – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. Company (NYSE: TXT) recently announced their ARH-70A Mission Equipment Package (MEP) risk reduction prototype aircraft has surpassed the 70 hour flight test mark.

"The MEP aircraft is a Bell 407 with the capability to mount ARH mission equipment in the aft cabin as well as the Target Acquisition Sensor System for in flight testing and component integration," explained Bell ARH Program Manager Bill Leonard. "This is another significant milestone for the ARH program and allows us to reduce program risk by getting a head start on the on-aircraft integration for many of the key Avionics systems."

Currently, more than half of the ARH-70A's mission equipment package is undergoing testing and integration on the risk reduction prototype. Key components being tested and evaluated are the Common Avionics Architecture System, or CASS, the Target Acquisition Sensor Suite, or TASS, Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation System, or EGI, as well as the Data Collection Unit, or DCU, radar altimeter and more.

"Bell Helicopter made the internal investment to add the flying test-bed in order to integrate and test the critical mission components prior to flying our fist SDD (System Design and Development) aircraft," Leonard said. "When you are working on a timeline as compressed as the ARH, having the capability to test and integrate critical components in advance is key to delivering on our commitment to the warfighter."

Bell was awarded the contract to build the 368 ARH-70A's for the United States Army last summer.

Between September and December of 2005, the ARH program successfully completed four major milestone reviews including a system requirement review, an integrated baseline review, a systems functional review and a preliminary design review. The first four SDD, aircraft are being designed and built at Bell Helicopter's XWorX facility in Arlington, Texas.

Limited user testing is scheduled to begin later this year, with the first combat ready operational unit equipped with production ARH-70A's by fourth quarter 2008.

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees in continuing operations. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at

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Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Cameron Vollmuth, Manager,
Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

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