The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT helicopter demonstrated mission-relevant cargo capacity by lifting a 5,300-pound Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System training load during a test flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. With DEFIANT X, the U.S. Army will deliver troops and cargo in future combat at twice the range of the current fleet. The lifting power demonstrated by SB>1 DEFIANT in this test equates to an Infantry Squad Vehicle, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, more than 600 gallons of water, or ~240 cases of MREs â€“ resupply vital to Soldier survival in a contested environment.
SB>1 DEFIANT is the technology demonstrator proving out transformational capabilities for the DEFIANT X weapons system, the Sikorsky-Boeing team offering for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition as part of the Future Vertical Lift program. The Sikorsky-Boeing team designed DEFIANT X to serve the specific needs of all U.S. Army FLRAA missions â€“ offering a holistic approach to speed, range, and maneuverability. The external load capacity of DEFIANT X significantly increases its potential for humanitarian assistance missions at home or abroad.
The SB>1 DEFIANT test flight program continues to demonstrate the military utility of the DEFIANT X design and further reduces the risk for the U.S. Army’s FLRAA program. In May, SB>1 DEFIANT exceeded 230 knots in level flight. 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 (JMR) initiative. It is a compound helicopter with rigid coaxial rotors, powered by two Honeywell T55s, and made its first flight on 21 March 2019.
Sikorsky and Boeing state the design is to 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.