Sikorsky-Boeing Unveil 'Defiant X' Helicopter to Replace Black Hawks

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:37 PM, January 25, 2021
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Sikorsky-Boeing Unveil 'Defiant X' Helicopter to Replace Black Hawks
SB-1 Defiant helicopter

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company and Boeing today released details of its new helicopter offering- dubbed the Defiant X - for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.

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. It will enable crews 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, the company said in a statement.

DEFIANT X flies twice as far and fast as the venerable Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace.

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.

Compared to SB>1 DEFIANT, the DEFIANT X airframe has enhancements to improve aerodynamics and reduce the thermal signature. Additionally, the company’s new offering includes tricycle landing gear to improve stability and taxiing in austere environments; and increased maneuverability through flight controls integrated with autonomy capabilities.

The Sikorsky-Boeing team isn't the only industry player developing a new platform for the FLRAA initiative. A Bell-Textron team has also built an aircraft, the V-280 Valor. The V-280’s latest flight statistics includes forward flight at 280 knots true airspeed, over 85 hours of flight and 180 rotor turn hours, in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical take-off and landing, 45-degree banked turns at 200 knots indicated airspeed, 4500 feet per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at 11,500 feet altitude, single flight ferry of over 370 miles, and fly-by-wire controls.

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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