The Boeing and Sikorsky consortium developing an improved combat helicopter have added five more manufacturers to their project venture, which aims to win a U.S. Dept. of Defense nearing the point of selection. The consortium – called Team DEFIANT – is proposing the DEFIANT X® helicopter in the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition, which will determine a replacement for the U.S. Army’s UH-60 (Black Hawk) helicopter series, a model that is the basis for different combat applications.
The FLRAA also aims to advance combat helicopter technology for a new assault aircraft. The U.S. Army has stated that the FLRAA will retain traditional helicopter agility and maneuverability and deliver more combat power on the objective than competing proposals.
The co-developers claim DEFIANT X “will be the fastest, most maneuverable and survivable assault helicopter in history.”
Another proposed FLRAA design has been developed by Bell Textron Inc.
The U.S. Army is expected to announce its selection later this year.
The DEFIANT X completed its first flight in 2019 and last year was tested and evaluated in digital combat applications. The helicopter was formally submitted to the FLRAA competition in September 2021.
The new Team DEFIANT members announced by Sikorsky and Boeing are ATI Forged Products, Cudahy, Wis., as the supplier of gearbox components; Collins Aerospace, Windsor Locks, Conn., for its flight control and vehicle management computer, and Colorado Springs, Col., for its aircraft seats; and Parker Aerospace, Irvine, Calif., for flight controls, and Kalamazoo, Mich., for hydraulic pumps and modules.
Also joining Team DEFIANT will be Magnaghi Aerospace, Medford, N.Y., for landing gear units; and Marotta Controls, Boonton, N.J., for electrical power system components.Last month, Team DEFIANT selected the Honeywell HTS7500 turboshaft engine to power the DEFIANT X.