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Sikorsky-Boeing Team Aims to ‘Revolutionize’ Advanced Assault Helicopters


January 27, 2021
By Helicopters Staff


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Image courtesy of Sikorsky and Boeing

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing released details of its advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft competition, known as FLRAA.

The aircraft, named DEFIANT X, will be the fastest, most maneuverable and most survivable assault helicopter in history. Combined with the team’s unsurpassed experience in mission systems, training and sustainment, it will revolutionize the way the Army meets threats in 2035 and beyond.

DEFIANT X is a complete weapon system that builds on the handling qualities and transformational capabilities proven by the team’s technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT®. With unmatched range and survivability, DEFIANT X will to fly low and fast through complex terrain, land quickly, deliver soldiers and equipment to the objective area (referred to as “the X”) and get out.

DEFIANT X flies twice as far and fast as the venerable Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace. Currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment, the aircraft continues to prove itself the most survivable platform for mission requirements.

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“We are ready to deliver unparalleled capabilities backed by proven technologies that will truly transform the Army’s mission today – with room to grow and adapt to the missions of tomorrow,” said Andy Adams, Sikorsky vice president of Future Vertical Lift in a statement. “DEFIANT X not only includes the transformational aircraft, mission systems and revolutionary sustainment solution, but also leverages Sikorsky’s and Boeing’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.”

With its rigid coaxial rotor system and pusher propeller, DEFIANT X incorporates Sikorsky X2 Technology™ to operate at high speeds while maintaining low-speed handling qualities. This critical capability provides soldiers with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat air defense environments, allowing them to penetrate enemy defenses while reducing exposure to enemy fire.

“DEFIANT X is purpose-built for a modernized Army that requires expanded reach, survivability and lethality,” said Steve Parker, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. “This weapon system will give soldiers unequaled technological advantage and connectivity over adversaries in a multi-domain battle space.”

DEFIANT X will revolutionize the Army’s air assault capability with limited changes in tactics, techniques, procedures, training and infrastructure while maintaining the Black Hawk helicopter footprint and tight formation capability flown today.

The Army is expected to release a request for proposal on FLRAA later this year, with a contract award expected in 2022.


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