Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and Boeing provided the first look at the SB>1 Defiant helicopter the companies have developed for the U.S. Army's Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program. The SB>1 Defiant is designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today's conventional helicopters and offers advanced agility and maneuverability. It will help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army's Future Vertical Lift program.
The aircraft’s capabilities are largely derived from the X2 rigid co-axial rotor system which has already proven its airworthiness through flights of the X2 and S-97 Raider. With two coaxial rotors on top that rotate in opposite directions, the extra lift from each rotor’s advancing blade balances out the diminished lift from the opposite side’s retreating blade to eliminate retreating blade stall. To provide the raw forward thrust for fast flight, the back of the SB>1 Defiant mounts a pusher propulsor. This additional flight component also provides maneuverability in all flight regimes including hover, low-speed flight, and high-speed flight.
The helicopter is participating in the Army's Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from SB>1 Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s.