Military Embedded Systems

DEFIANT X advanced assault helicopter in development for U.S. Army


January 25, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Sikorsky and Boeing image.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing released details of its advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition, known as FLRAA. The aircraft, named DEFIANT X, will aim to revolutionize the way the Army meets threats in 2035 and beyond.

According to officials, DEFIANT X is a complete weapon system that builds on the handling qualities and transformational capabilities proven by the team's technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT. 

The companies claim that DEFIANT X is engineered to fly twice as far and fast as the Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace. The platform is currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment.

DEFIANT X incorporates Sikorsky X2 Technology to operate at high speeds while aiming to maintain low-speed handling qualities. This capability is intended to provide soldiers with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat air defense environments. Compared to SB>1 DEFIANT, the DEFIANT X airframe is designed with enhancements to improve aerodynamics and reduce the thermal signature.

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

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