Boeing and Sikorsky reveal design of its Defiant X ‘Black Hawk successor’ helicopter

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Sikorsky and Boeing have revealed the Defiant X advanced helicopter, its proposed design for the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, the successor to the Black Hawk helicopter.

The US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) will replace the Black Hawk Helicopter with Boeing and Sikorsky’s Defiant X going up against Bell’s V-280 Valor advanced tiltrotor in the competition.

Both aircraft have been developed out of the US Army’s  Joint Multirole Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD) program, which started in 2013.

The US Army is expected to release a request for proposals for the FRAA later this year and to award the first contract in 2022 to either the Boeing / Sikorsky partnership or Bell, with first deliveries of the new helicopters by the end of this decade.

Defiant X builds on the SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator and offers increased range and can fly twice as fast the Black Hawk. The helicopter uses a rigid coaxial rotor system and pusher propeller and uses Sikorsky’s X2 Technology to improve handling at higher speeds.

Andy Adams, Sikorsky vice president of Future Vertical Lift said, “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.

“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.”

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

The Defiant X is currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment, said Boeing.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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