On July 29, 2020, Lockheed Martin Sikorsky and Boeing Team demonstrated Future Vertical Lift aircraft in action, showing how RAIDER and DEFIANT will give the U.S. Army the edge in achieving aviation overmatch. Future Vertical Lift (FVL) is a plan to develop a family of military helicopters for the United States Armed Forces. Five different sizes of aircraft are to be developed, sharing common hardware such as sensors, avionics, engines, and countermeasures. The U.S. Army has been considering the program since 2004. FVL is meant to develop replacements for the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, and OH-58 Kiowa helicopters. The precursor for FVL is the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) helicopter program.
The Sikorsky S-97 Raider is a high-speed scout and attack compound helicopter based on the Advancing Blade Concept (ABC) with a coaxial rotor system under development by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky planned to offer it for the United States Army’s Armed Aerial Scout program, along with other possible uses. Maneuverability is improved compared with earlier helicopters because of the ability to tilt the coaxial rotors together or tilt each one differently, and because of the variable pitch propulsor and active elevons. At low speed the S-97 maneuvers by differential torque of the upper and lower rotor, at high speed it uses rudders. The S-97 will be capable of carrying up to six passengers, in addition to a flight crew of two in a side-by-side cockpit.
The Sikorskyâ€“Boeing SB-1 Defiant (stylized as “SB>1”; company designation S-100) is the Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing entry for the United States Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, succeeding the Joint Multi-Role initiative. It is a compound helicopter with rigid coaxial rotors, powered by two Honeywell T55s, and made its first flight on 21 March 2019. The design will have a cruise speed of 250 kn (290 mph; 460 km/h), but less range due to using the “old” T55 engine. A new engine, the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE), is to meet the radius requirement of 229 nmi (264 mi; 424 km). Compared to conventional helicopters, the counter-rotating coaxial main rotors and pusher propeller offer a 100-knot (115 mph; 185 km/h) speed increase, a 60% combat radius extension, and 50% better performance in high-hot hover performance.