Sikorsky and Boeing officially introduced their latest assault helicopter design for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program, the Defiant X, on Monday. Based on the Sikorsky-Boeing team’s technology demonstrator, SB>1 Defiant, the Defiant X features a coaxial rotor system, fly-by-wire flight controls, pusher prop, composite construction and retractable landing gear. According to the companies, the design is “currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment.”
“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. “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.”
As previously reported by AVweb, the SB>1 Defiant demonstrator flew for the first time in in March 2019. In March 2020, the Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant was selected to compete in the FLRAA program alongside the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor. With contracts to be awarded in 2022, the program’s goal is to replace the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
It has no window in the floor below the pilot’s feet. Isn’t the whole purpose of vertical flight the ability to hover? For that don’t you need to see straight down? Seems like they have focused so hard on speed that they forgot why they aren’t just selling an airplane.