A Sikorsky-Boeing team has submitted the DEFIANT X proposal for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme.

FLRAA is one of the Future Vertical Lift efforts underway by the US Army.

The programme is aimed at developing a platform that will replace the US Army’s fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

Prototype FLRAA candidates include the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant and Bell V-280 Valor.

The team’s Defiant X proposal to the US Army included data gathered from the SB-1’s flight testing process.

The Sikorsky-Boeing team noted that they will continue to conduct flight tests and expand SB>1 DEFIANT’s flight envelope.

In a joint statement, Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo and Boeing Defense, Space and Security Vertical Lift vice-president and general manager Mark Cherry said: “Continuing a 75-year partnership with the US Army, providing and sustaining the iconic Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache, the 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 US Army’s FLRAA competition, offering low-risk, transformational capability that delivers on an army critical modernisation 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.”

With operational features almost like the Black Hawk, DEFIANT X delivers capabilities such as efficient sustainment, advanced manufacturing techniques and reduced training time and costs.

In addition, the helicopter’s open system approach allows the US Army to easily upgrade DEFIANT X in the future.

In March this year, Bell Textron said it is executing the Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction (CD&RR) contract phase two for the FLRAA programme.

In 2019, Sikorsky and Boeing performed the first flight of SB>1 DEFIANT helicopter in Florida, US.