First Look

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and Boeing provided the first look at the SB>1 DEFIANT helicopter the companies have developed for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program. The SB>1 DEFIANT is designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today’s conventional helicopters and offers advanced agility and maneuverability. It will help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.

Sikorsky, Boeing Provide First Look At SB>1 DEFIANT
Sikorsky, Boeing Provide First Look At SB>1 DEFIANT

The helicopter is participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from SB>1 DEFIANT will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

As the lead providers of Attack, Assault, and Heavy Lift Helicopters for the Department of Defense (DoD) and with a proven track record and a demonstrated ability to exceed customer requirements for those missions with these programs of record, Boeing and Sikorsky have joined forces to develop the SB>1 DEFIANT for the DoD. Defiant is a fully integrated aircraft that represents an evolution of the military’s most capable platforms. Designed for the Army’s attack and assault missions as well as the Marine Corps long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply missions, the SB>1 DEFIANT is uniquely suited to provide the warfighter with unmatched capabilities for the U.S. Military’s various missions.

Sikorsky and Boeing have designed the SB>1 DEFIANT to provide the right combination of speed, lift and range that are paramount to both the assault and attack missions while increasing overall maneuverability and agility. Developed with 85 percent commonality between attack and assault aircraft, the SB>1 DEFIANT will reduce development and life-cycle costs and ensure minimal disruption or loss of existing rotorcraft expertise. Its open mission systems architecture allows rapid technology and capability insertion to meet evolving FVL requirements and provide the U.S. Military with evolutionary sustainability, affordability and readiness for years to come.

The aircraft’s capabilities are largely derived from the X2 rigid co-axial rotor system which has already proven its airworthiness through flights of the X2 and S-97 Raider. With two coaxial rotors on top that rotate in opposite directions, the extra lift from each rotor’s advancing blade balances out the diminished lift from the opposite side’s retreating blade to eliminate retreating blade stall. To provide the raw forward thrust for fast flight, the back of the SB>1 DEFIANT mounts a pusher propulsor, allowing the aircraft to fly twice as fast and twice as far as today’s conventional helicopter while increasing the overall maneuverability and agility required for specific mission objectives. This additional flight component also provides unique and unmatched maneuverability in all flight regimes including hover, low-speed flight and high-speed flight.

The perfect paradigm for upgradability and survivability in an open architecture environment, the SB>1 DEFIANT is ready to serve the U.S. Military for decades to come.

  • X2 Rotor System: A rigid, co-axial rotor system with pusher propulsor that provides improved mission objective capability, reduced wear on parts and systems, increased reliability and lower total lifecycle costs
  • Maneuverability and Agility: Improved agility and flight control augmentation allow tight assault formations with close proximity landings to deliver embarked troops as a cohesive unit and minimize exposure to hostile threats
  • Speed and Range: Twice the speed and distance of today’s conventional helicopters while increasing the overall maneuverability and agility needed for the US Military’s various missions
  • Survivability: Propulsor thrust coupled with large angular rates and precision attitude control enable the SB>1 DEFIANT to rapidly and precisely displace the aircraft position or flight path in response to threats or evolving tactical environments
  • Lethality: Rapid and precise acquisition of targets and prolonged engagement windows
  • Deployability: When folded for shipboard stowage, the SB>1 DEFIANT fits the footprint of a folded AH-1
Future Vertical Lift: the next-generation rotorcraft of the U.S. Military
Future Vertical Lift: the next-generation rotorcraft of the U.S. Military

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