A joint Sikorsky-Boeing team has officially submitted its proposal for the Defiant X helicopter to the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. Unveiled last January, the Defiant X is based on the team’s SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator, which flew for the first time in March 2019. The Defiant X will feature a coaxial rotor system, fly-by-wire flight controls, pusher prop, composite construction and retractable landing gear.
“Today, Team DEFIANT completed and submitted the proposal for the U.S. Army’s FLRAA competition, offering low-risk, transformational capability that delivers on an Army critical modernization priority and advances the future of Army aviation,” the companies said in a joint statement. “DEFIANT X delivers speed where it matters, survivability, unsurpassed power, maneuverability, superior handling in any environment and lower lifecycle costs—while operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK.”
According to Boeing, flight testing continues on the Defiant prototype. The Defiant X is competing with Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor for the FLRAA contract, which is expected to be awarded in 2022. The FLRAA is aimed at replacing the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with the goal of fielding the selected model by 2030.