Boeing and Sikorsky submit plans for Black Hawk replacement

© Sikorsky and Boeing

Sikorsky and Boeing have submitted their joint proposal to the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme.

The helicopter, called the SB-1 Defiant (stylised as SB>1), is a compound helicopter with rigid coaxial rotors, powered by two Honeywell T55s.

A demonstrator made its first flight on 21st March 2019.

The submitted proposal includes flight data from the SB>1 demonstrator, as well as virtual modelling of the final aircraft of the bid.

The Sikorsky-Boeing team is competing against Bell and its V-280 tiltrotor for the FLRAA that is part of the US Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.

The service plans to field a family of platforms as replacements for the Black Hawk helicopter and the Apache attack helicopter in about 2030 and 2040 respectively (these two requirements now make up the FLRAA effort).

A replacement for the Chinook is expected to enter service in 2060. It also plans to reintroduce a scout-class rotorcraft with the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) requirement.

The two companies made a joint statement from Paul Lemmo, president, Sikorsky, and to Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager, Vertical Lift, Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

The statement said: “Continuing a 75-year partnership with the US Army, providing and sustaining the iconic Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache, the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing team looks to the future with the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft - Defiant X.

“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. Defiant X delivers speed where it matters, survivability, unsurpassed power, manoeuvrability, superior handling in any environment and lower lifecycle costs – while operating in the same footprint as the Black Hawk. We are confident that Defiant X, supported by our longstanding Army industrial base suppliers, is the best choice for delivering overmatch on the Multi-Domain Operational battlefield in INDOPACOM and across the globe.”

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