The US army has selected Bell Helicopter and a Sikorsky/Boeing team to build prototypes to demonstrate a new generation of high-speed rotorcraft for its Joint Multirole- Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program.
The U.S. Army Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) selected the Sikorsky-Boeing team to continue the development of the SB1 Defiant, a medium-lift helicopter configured to Sikorsky’s X coaxial design, through flight testing. First flight for the program is expected in 2017, Sikorsky announced on August 12 in a press release.
Karem Aircraft and AVX Aircraft Co also bid for the program, according to the U.S. Army website.
The program will ultimately replace up to 4,000 medium class UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters built by Sikorsky and Boeing's Apache attack helicopters after 2030.
The Defiant aircraft will feature counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades for vertical and forward flight, a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration and an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system.