In a May 12th tweet, Boeing and Sikorsky unveiled a new video of the SB1 Defiant during flights tests. The aircraft was selected last March along with Bell’s V-280 Valor by the US Army as part of the Future Longe Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.
This pre-selection allowed the two manufacturers to access several hundred million dollars to bring the two prototypes to technological maturity.
The capabilities of the SB-1 defiant are largely derived from the X2 coaxial rotor system tested during the flights of the Raider X2 and S-97. This style, already proven in the past, favors the lift of the aircraft. The propeller at the rear of the Defiant should allow it to fly twice as fast and twice as far as the current conventional helicopter, while increasing its handling and agility. Boeing and Sikorsky also indicate that this combination offers unique maneuverability in all flight regimes, including hover, low and high speed flight.
The final decision on the selection of the aircraft is expected to be made in 2022 with an operational unit planned by the US Army in 2030.