Tag Archives: Sikorsky

Initial Production

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, delivered the third Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) CH-53K King Stallion helicopter ahead of contract schedule to the U.S. Marine Corps. This aircraft, built in Sikorsky’s digital factory, is the first CH-53K King Stallion from the Lot 2 LRIP contract awarded by the U.S. Navy in 2019, and the seventh overall delivered to the fleet. The CH‑53K’s heavy-lift capabilities exceed all other U.S. Department of Defense rotary wing platforms and is the only heavy-lift helicopter that will remain in production through 2032 and beyond.

CH-53K King Stallion
Sikorsky delivered a seventh CH-53K King Stallion Helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps. The heavy lift helicopter will be based at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina

This CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter joins the six in operation at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The CH-53K King Stallion is the only sea-based, long range, heavy lift helicopter in production and will immediately provide three times the lift capability of its predecessor.

«This Connecticut-built CH-53K King Stallion aircraft is a credit to our employees and their skills embracing digital tools and other advanced technologies to continue the Sikorsky legacy of building modern, safe, reliable rotorcraft. Our nationwide supply chain supports the active production line as we prepare to deliver two more CH-53K King Stallion helicopters later this year», said Bill Falk, Director, Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion program. «We look forward to continuing our progress toward next year’s full rate production decision».

 

Building Helicopters in Sikorsky’s Digital Factory

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter was born in a digital environment, and now its digital thread connects design, manufacturing, training, and sustainment teams. This network, that includes everything from work instructions to maintenance manuals, is based on the helicopter’s single, continuous data thread that stays consistent from initial design all the way through sustainment. Today, all of Sikorsky’s aircraft programs are born in a digital environment. The power of this digital thread drives affordability, producibility and reliability across the aircraft lifecycle.

The CH-53K King Stallion is Sikorsky’s pioneer digital technology program with advancing installation of wheels, electrical units, hydraulics and more.

The high-tech production line in Connecticut is active with seven aircraft in build on final assembly.

 

Factory Prepares for Foreign Military Sales

Earlier this year Sikorsky secured a contract to build 12 CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopters for Israel under a U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.

The signed Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) between the U.S. Government and Israel states first deliveries of the baseline aircraft are planned for 2025.

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopters will replace the Israeli Air Force (IAF) fleet of modified CH-53D Yasur helicopters, which have been in Israel’s inventory for over 50 years. The all-new CH-53K King Stallion delivers modern state-of-the-art capabilities that result in improved survivability, safety, and reduced aircrew workload over its predecessor, making it the perfect fit for the demanding IAF mission.

 

#OnlyTheKCan

The Marines recently declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and have been flying and supporting the CH-53K King Stallion in the fleet environment demonstrating the aircraft is on track to deploy on schedule in 2024. The aircraft have flown more than 3,000 flight hours showcasing the CH‑53K’s performance in a range of mission scenarios and challenging environments.

The CH-53K King Stallion will further support the U.S. Marine Corps in its mission to conduct expeditionary heavy lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment, and personnel to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations, critical in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs./33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs./39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Army Aviation Fleet

The United States government and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, signed a five-year contract for a baseline of 120 H-60M Black Hawk helicopters, with options to reach a total of 255 aircraft to be delivered to the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Sikorsky continues to modernize and enhance the Black Hawk to meet the Army’s challenging and evolving missions by continuously delivering aircraft thanks to a hot production line, mature well-established supply chain and digital factory.

H-60M Black Hawk
An HH-60M MEDEVAC takes flight at Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut. Sikorsky continues to modernize and enhance the Black Hawk thanks to a hot production line, mature well-established supply chain and digital factory (Photo courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company)

The «Multi-Year X» contract for UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC aircraft marks the 10th multiple-year contract for Sikorsky and the U.S. government for H-60 helicopters. With more than 2,100 H-60 variants in the U.S. Army’s inventory, the Black Hawk continues to be the workhorse and backbone of U.S. Army Aviation. As the Army continues to develop its Future Vertical Lift (FVL) capabilities, they will continue to operate the H-60M for the next several decades and alongside the future fleet.

The contract value for expected deliveries is approximately $2.3 billion, with a potential value of up to $4.4 billion, should options for additional aircraft be fully exercised. Multi-Year X deliveries are scheduled to begin in July and continue through 2027.

«This Multi-Year agreement allows the Army to meet current and future capability needs through upgrades, remanufacturing, replacement, and technology insertions», said Colonel Calvin Lane, the Utility Helicopters project manager. «The efficiencies of this contract make the best use of limited resources and result in direct savings to the Army and to taxpayers».

«Decades of Black Hawk production and enhancements, strong program execution and close partnership with the Army has kept the program thriving, and this contract is a testament to that success», said Nathalie Previte, vice president of Sikorsky’s Army and Air Force programs. «Additionally, we continue to see strong international interest in the Black Hawk due to its versatility and proven record of providing unwavering support to the U.S. and nations around the globe».

«Sikorsky continues to invest in the Black Hawk platform – from sustainment to digital transformation and modernization – in order to provide our customers with the competitive edge they require», added Previte. «We have aligned our investments with the Army’s technology roadmap, while leveraging Future Vertical Lift technologies to ensure the Black Hawk will be a key player in the Joint All Domain Operations environment and FVL ecosystem».

The H-60M Black Hawk, the premier multi-mission combat assault utility helicopter, provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, active vibration control, improved producibility, enhanced handling qualities and situational awareness, and improved survivability.

Honeywell Engine

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing on February 10, 2022 announced Honeywell as the engine provider for DEFIANT X, the advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.

DEFIANT X
Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing selects Honeywell Engine to power DEFIANT X

With Honeywell providing the HTS7500 turboshaft engine, Team DEFIANT brings unsurpassed Army Aviation experience to revolutionize Army air assault while seamlessly integrating with legacy platforms, proven tactics and existing infrastructure. DEFIANT X will be the fastest, most maneuverable and survivable assault helicopter in history.

«Team DEFIANT’s strength is built on the experience of Sikorsky and Boeing, and a commitment to Army Aviation», said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. «Honeywell’s history with Boeing and the U.S. Army makes us even more confident that DEFIANT X is the best fit for the Army’s total mission».

«DEFIANT X is a transformational aircraft, and Honeywell is giving us a transformational engine to power it», said Paul Lemmo, president of Sikorsky. «DEFIANT X is optimized for operational effectiveness, sustainment and interoperability with the enduring fleet, and will transform the Army».

DEFIANT X is a complete weapon system that builds on the handling qualities and capabilities proven by the team’s technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT. It flies twice as far and fast as the venerable Black Hawk helicopter it is designed to replace. Currently undergoing testing in a digital combat environment, the aircraft continues to prove itself as the most survivable platform for mission requirements.

«Honeywell is excited to be a part of Team DEFIANT and proud to play a part in the future of vertical lift for the U.S. Army», said Ricky Freeman, president, Defense & Space at Honeywell Aerospace. «We’re confident our HTS7500 engine on the DEFIANT X platform will provide the Army with an agile, fast and maneuverable platform that will help ensure overmatch capability in the future battlespace».

Sikorsky-Boeing submitted the proposal for DEFIANT X for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft in September 2021. Contract award is expected this year.

Uninhabited flight

The DARPA Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program completed a first ever flight of a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter without anyone onboard. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, completed 30-minutes of uninhabited flight with the Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) over the U.S. Army installation at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on February 5th. An additional uninhabited flight was also conducted on February 7th.

ALIAS
ALIAS equipped Black Hawk helicopter completes first uninhabited flight

The Black Hawk was retrofitted with Sikorsky MATRIX autonomy technologies that form the core of ALIAS and can change the way aviators and air crews execute their missions by providing assistance when flying with limited visibility or without communications.

ALIAS is a flexible, extensible automation architecture for existing manned aircraft that enables safe reduced crew operations, which facilitates the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft. It also provides a platform for integrating additional automation or autonomy capabilities tailored for specific missions.

«With reduced workloads pilots can focus on mission management instead of the mechanics», said Stuart Young, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. «This unique combination of autonomy software and hardware will make flying both smarter and safer».

The ALIAS program has leveraged the considerable advances in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as similar advances in remotely piloted aircraft. Even in today’s most automated aircraft, pilots must still manage complex interfaces and respond to unexpected situations.

ALIAS aims to support execution of an entire mission from takeoff to landing, including autonomously handling contingency events such as aircraft system failures. Easy-to-use interfaces facilitate supervisor-ALIAS interaction.

«With ALIAS, the Army will have much more operational flexibility», said Young. «This includes the ability to operate aircraft at all times of the day or night, with and without pilots, and in a variety of difficult conditions, such as contested, congested, and degraded visual environments».

The Army is currently exploring potential use cases for technologies such as ALIAS, including those outlined in the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.

Within the next month, the ALIAS program plans to conduct the first flight of a fly-by-wire M-model Black Hawk at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

First Uninhabited Black Hawk Flight

Nine Additional CH-53K

Prioritizing affordability and utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, will build nine additional CH-53K King Stallion aircraft at a lower unit price than previous lot buys, resulting in significant savings for the U.S. government and taxpayers. The company’s experienced supply chain coupled with its active digital approach drives speed and affordability throughout design, development, production, and sustainment.

CH-53K King Stallion
Stratford, Conn: The CH-53K King Stallion helicopters will be built at Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, leveraging the company’s digital build and advanced technology production processes

The CH-53K King Stallion will further support the U.S. Marine Corps in its mission to conduct expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment and personnel to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations, critical in the Indo-Pacific region.

These nine helicopters are part of 200 aircraft Program of Record for the U.S. Marine Corps with deliveries beginning in 2025.

«By embracing resilient, predictive logistics and sustainment, we are enabling CH-53K King Stallion crews to make smarter, faster decisions, to increase reliability, and improve readiness and material availability at reduced burden to the fleet», said Bill Falk, Sikorsky Director, CH-53K King Stallion programs. «After 50 years of supporting the CH-53E Super Stallion, Sikorsky has a deep understanding of the heavy-lift mission and an enduring partnership with the U.S. Marines Corps enabling our team and our proven supply chain to offer tailored solutions resulting in more efficient missions».

 

Building to Deliver

The aircraft will be built at Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, leveraging the company’s digital build and advanced technology production processes.

The factory is active with seven CH-53K King Stallion aircraft in build, and there are 47 more aircraft in various stages of production.

Sikorsky has made significant investments in workforce training, tooling, and machinery to increase the number of aircraft built and delivered year over year.

In total, Sikorsky has delivered five operational CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with four more planned for delivery this year.

 

Marines Flying CH-53K King Stallion in Fleet Environment

The CH-53K King Stallion program operated by the U.S. Marine Corps entered Initial Operational Test and Evaluation in 2021 and is set to conclude in 2022.

Sikorsky has a strong foundation to support the CH-53K King Stallion because the company already provides the U.S. Marines with predictive maintenance on the legacy CH-53E Super Stallion by utilizing the Fleet Common Operating Environment (FCOE) enabling the shift from reactive to predictive maintenance.

The CH-53K King Stallion aircraft is equipped with Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS), which will transition the U.S. Marines from fixed interval to on-condition maintenance resulting in lower maintenance crew hours, reduced life cycle costs and increased aircraft readiness.

Lockheed Martin is working with the U.S. Navy on a performance-based logistics contract that expands from the CH-53E Super Stallion to add the CH-53K King Stallion with a contract award expected this year.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs./33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs./39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

 

FLRAA Mission Profile

The Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT successfully completed FLRAA mission profile test flights, including confined area landings and low-level flight operations. These flights validate DEFIANT’s relevancy to the Army’s mission, providing agility at the objective (also known as the «X»), and increased survivability, all while reducing pilot workload. View the video of the latest flight testing.

DEFIANT
The SB>1 DEFIANT Technology Demonstrator recently executed a confined area landing among the trees in south Florida as part of the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing team’s effort to validate aircraft design and relevance to the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft mission profile. (Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing photo)

«We fully demonstrated DEFIANT’s ability to execute the FLRAA mission profile by flying 236 knots in level flight, then reducing thrust on the propulsor to rapidly decelerate as we approached the confined, and unimproved, landing zone», said Bill Fell, DEFIANT chief flight test pilot at Sikorsky and a retired U.S. Army Master aviator. «This type of level body deceleration allowed us to maintain situational awareness and view the landing zone throughout the approach and landing without the typical nose-up helicopter deceleration. This confined area was extremely tight, requiring us to delay descent until nearly over the landing spot, followed by a near-vertical drop. We landed DEFIANT precisely on the objective with little effort as we descended into this narrow hole while maintaining clearance on all sides».

SB>1 DEFIANT is the technology demonstrator proving out transformational capabilities for the DEFIANT X weapon system, the Sikorsky-Boeing team offering for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition as part of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program. DEFIANT X will enable crews to fly low and fast through complex terrain, where Army aviators spend most of their time. It will extend capabilities of Army Aviation on the modern battlefield – and is designed to fit in the same footprint as a BLACK HAWK. With DEFIANT X, the U.S. Army will deliver troops and cargo in future combat at twice the range of the current fleet.

«It’s what we call building combat power rapidly, and aircraft like the DEFIANT X can do that», said Tony Crutchfield, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and now vice president of Army Systems at Boeing. «In the Pacific, it’s even more important because your lines of operation are going to be dispersed over a wide area; you’re going to have these small bases and supply lines that’ll be positioned either on ships or on islands. You’re going to want to move more assets, maneuver in confined terrain and survive to build that combat power faster than your adversary can – so you can win».

DEFIANT X incorporates Sikorsky X2 Technology to operate at high speeds while maintaining low-speed handling qualities. This critical capability provides pilots with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat environments, allowing them to penetrate enemy defenses while reducing exposure to enemy fire. DEFIANT X’s X2 coaxial rotor system and pusher prop allows for a high degree of maneuverability in and around the objective which is also directly linked to survivability.

DEFIANT achievements include:

  • Greater than 60-degree banked turns.
  • Demonstrating mission-relevant cargo capacity by lifting a 5,300-pound/2,404-kg Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System external load.
  • Exceeding 245 knots/282 mph/454 km/h in level flight.
  • Demonstrated Level 1 low-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls.
  • Integration of U.S. Army test pilots into the Defiant program.
  • Based on the Collier Award-winning X2 Technology.

DEFIANT X Tech Demonstrator Shows Low-Level Flight and Confined Area Landing Capabilities

Assault Aircraft

On September 7, 2021 the Sikorsky-Boeing team released the following statement on the early submittal of the proposal for DEFIANT X for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

DEFIANT X
DEFIANT X is a helicopter that offers high-speed performance while retaining traditional helicopter agility and maneuverability, delivering more combat power on the objective than other proposals for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. While operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK, DEFIANT X delivers transformational capability and affordability – including efficient sustainment, advanced manufacturing techniques and minimized training time and costs (Image courtesy Sikorsky and Boeing)

This statement can be attributed to Paul Lemmo, president, Sikorsky, and to Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager, Vertical Lift, Boeing Defense, Space & Security:

«Continuing a 75-year partnership with the U.S. 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 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, maneuverability, 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 United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and across the globe».

Nine additional CH-53K

A contract to build nine CH-53K King Stallion helicopters with an additional contract option for nine more aircraft was awarded to Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company on June 25.

CH-53K King Stallion
The CH-53K King Stallion in pre-Initial Operational Test and Evaluation training with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Lot 5 contract will deliver nine aircraft in 2024 as part of a 200 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Lot 5 contract contains an option for Lot 6, for an additional nine aircraft with a contract award in FY22.

«This contract award is a testament to the hard work and dedication from the team to execute this critical program in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ heavy lift requirement», said Colonel Jack Perrin, Program Manager, PMA-261 heavy lift helicopter program manager.

The Lot 5 contract is for $878.7 million, bringing the Sikorsky element of the aircraft cost of those nine aircraft to $97.6 million each. The Lot 6 aircraft cost reduces to $94.7 million each, for a Lot 6 total contract cost of $852.5 million. These costs do not include engine and other Government Furnished Equipment.

The FY21 Lot 5 and FY22 Lot 6 contracts represent an average unit airframe cost reduction of $7.4M from FY20 Lot 4 to FY22 Lot 6.

The program will start Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in July 2021 and is poised to support the Marine Corps’ declaration of Initial Operational Capability. In preparation for commencement of IOT&E, three System Demonstration Test Article aircraft are currently being operated by Marine Corps’ Operational Test and Evaluation squadron, VMX-1, at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

«As the long-range logistic support backbone for the U.S. Marine Corps, it is essential that we get this critical capability to the fleet as quickly and as affordably as possible», said Perrin.

The Lot 5 award brings the program total aircraft, either delivered or on contract, to 33.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Developmental Testing

The Air Force’s new combat search and rescue helicopter, the HH-60W Jolly Green II, completed its developmental test program at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), April 13.

HH-60W Jolly Green II
A 413th Flight Test Squadron HH-60W Jolly Green II hangs in the anechoic chamber at the Joint Preflight Integration of Munitions and Electronic Systems hangar, January 6, 2020, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The J-PRIMES anechoic chamber is a room designed to stop internal reflections of electromagnetic waves, as well as insulate from external sources of electromagnetic noise (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

The final test by the Sikorsky and Air Force team was on the aircraft’s weapon systems. The goal of the test was to both demonstrate the performance of the weapons while optimizing weapon-system configurations.

«The timely completion of this test program represents an amazing accomplishment by the HH-60W Jolly Green II Integrated Test Team», said Joe Whiteaker, the 413th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) HH-60W Jolly Green II flight chief. «The team consistently overcame tremendous adversity through a mix of innovation and sheer determination».

The result of those labors ensured both the warfighter and the program’s decision-makers were well-informed on the HH-60W Jolly Green II’s performance.

The test efforts began May 2019 with the first HH-60W Jolly Green II flight. The aircraft arrived at Eglin AFB to the 413th FLTS November 2019, although various tests took place in other locations. The integrated test team accumulated more than 1,100 flight test hours across six aircraft testing the full spectrum of aircraft systems.

Some of the notable developmental tests included aircraft performance, communications systems, environmental tests at McKinley Climatic Lab, aerial refueling, data links, defensive systems, cabin systems, rescue hoist and live-fire of three weapon systems.

The test aircraft will be modified for operational use before being transferred to their respective Air Force rescue unit. The Jolly Green II’s developmental test mission will move to the Combat Search and Rescue Combined Test Force for follow-on testing at Nellis AFB, Nevada in 2022.

«I am incredibly proud of the many people from so many organizations who have come together to pull off a really challenging test program», said Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Dirkes, the 413 FLTS commander. «The team’s relentless focus on keeping the end in mind, aligning activity with their goals and moving forward quickly with discipline resulted in execution of a safe and highly successful test program in the face of incredible pressure».

DEFIANT X

We are excited about our continued partnership with the U.S. Army on the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction (CD&RR) program to develop this vital modernization capability. DEFIANT X builds on the handling qualities and transformational capabilities proven in flight tests by our SB>1 DEFIANT technology demonstrator and is already undergoing testing and evaluation in a digital combat environment. The result is an adaptable design that delivers transformational speed, range and unprecedented maneuverability at the X. DEFIANT X will be a critical enabler for full-spectrum convergence of Army and joint operations assets on the multi-domain operational battlefield.

DEFIANT X
Sikorsky And Boeing Statement on Continuing to Advance DEFIANT X in U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft Program

As we ramp up CD&RR we will refine the final set of weapon system requirements and complete our preliminary design review for our DEFIANT X weapon system. Supporting this review will be subsystem preliminary design reviews conducted with our exceptional suppliers. The overarching objective of this phase of the program is to enable the successful execution of detailed design following contract down-select. The team of hundreds of hand-picked experts from Sikorsky and Boeing will continue their work to develop an optimized assault aircraft for the Army. Additional activities will include:

  • Refining our virtual prototype, utilizing a digital twin and digital design techniques that are embedded in our processes today. State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other production programs, and will enable the Army to not only lower the acquisition cost, but enable rapid, affordable upgrades to stay ahead of the evolving threat. We will continue to sharpen our tools with data from flight test, our powered system test bed, end to end SIL, Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER flight test, and other risk reduction activities.
  • Sharpening and demonstrating our Modular Open Systems Approach which will enable the Army to readily modify and upgrade DEFIANT X as new needs and opportunities appear.
  • Closing on the details around an exceptional warfighter experience, including the pilots in the cockpit, crew chiefs and troops in the cabin. Maintainers will continue to perform procedures at scale in virtual reality labs, sharing their perspective with designers on everything from ease of access, to ergonomics, to how straightforward it is to remove parts for servicing.
  • Quantifying the exceptional reliability, maintainability and availability that is better than the proven UH-60 BLACK HAWK despite the leap in capability.

Background on CD&RR:

  • Although the development and design completed under CD&RR Phase II will continue to inform the USG for their FLRAA down select in mid-2022, the effort in Phase II is also part of a series of developmental steps and design reviews. Phase II is focused on functionality, integration and developing all the data and artifacts to accomplish a preliminary design review.