Sikorsky-Boeing team reveals DEFIANT X

Sikorsky-Boeing team reveals DEFIANT X

Advanced assault helicopter to compete for U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft contract.

January 26, 2021

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Co., and Boeing have released details of its advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition. The aircraft, named DEFIANT X, is designed to meet Army threats in 2035 and beyond.

A complete weapon system, DEFIANT X builds on the handling qualities and capabilities proven by the team's technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT. DEFIANT X will allow 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.

DEFIANT X flies twice as far and fast as the venerable Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace. It’s currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment.

Andy Adams, Sikorsky vice president of Future Vertical Lift, said, "DEFIANT X not only includes the transformational aircraft – a maneuverable, survivable, lethal weapon system – it also leverages Sikorsky's and Boeing's advanced manufacturing capabilities."

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. This critical capability provides soldiers with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat air defense environments, allowing them to penetrate enemy defenses while reducing exposure to enemy fire. Compared to SB>1 DEFIANT, the DEFIANT X airframe has enhancements to improve aerodynamics and reduce the thermal signature.

Steve Parker, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift, added, "This weapon system will give soldiers unequaled technological advantage and connectivity over adversaries in a multi-domain battle space."

The Army is expected to release a request for proposal on FLRAA later this year, with a contract award expected in 2022.

Together, Sikorsky and Boeing have built 90% of the U.S. Army's current military rotorcraft including: Black Hawk, Chinook, and Apache.