Bell offers voluntary separation to some Fort Worth workers as it ramps up Army contract

Bell, the Fort Worth-based aerospace and defense manufacturer, is offering a voluntary separation program in its Fort Worth and Amarillo facilities.

“As we begin to ramp up for the FLRAA program, we must ensure our resources are aligned with our vision for the future of the business and the needs of our customers,” the company said in a statement to the Star-Telegram on Tuesday.

The voluntary separation is being offered to “a limited number of eligible” employees, including management and non-management, the company said. Engineers and pilots are excluded.

Bell did not say how many employees would be a “limited number” and did not immediately respond to follow-up questions. It is also unclear when employees who accept the offer would separate from the company.

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Bell was awarded the U.S. Army’s FLRAA program in December.

The deal, potentially worth billions over the next several decades, would replace the Army’s current fleet of Black Hawks with Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltroter. The aircraft acts as a helicopter during take off and landing, but can reconfigure itself in the air to fly faster than traditional helicopters.

The company broke ground on a $20 million Grand Prairie facility in March. Bell estimates it will complete construction on the 37,775-square-foot Drive System Test Lab in 2024 and begin operations in 2025. The lab will focus on risk reduction to validate performance models for aircraft.

At the time of the ground breaking, Bell executives said the new facility would generate job growth in the double digits.