Defiant X Is the Army Black Hawk of the Future

Sikorsky Defiant X 11 photos
Photo: Boeing/Sikorski
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The famed UH-60 Black Hawk has been a constant star over the battlefields and in the movies since, well, forever, it seems. Introduced in 1974, it went on to become one of the most successful machines of its kind ever to enter service, with 4,000 of them produced thus far. But, as with all good things in life, its time will be coming to an end.
It is in 2035 that Sikorsky, the maker of the Black Hawk, and Boeing, plan to introduce what could be the successor of the helicopter. And, taking advantage of the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft competition (FLRAA), they showed last week just that.

“The fastest, most maneuverable and most survivable assault helicopter in history:” these are the (very) big words used by Boeing to describe the Defiant X, a would-be longe range assault helicopter developed for the U.S. Army. It’s supposed to be twice as fast and fly twice as far as the Black Hawk, while at the same time fulfilling the same roles.

The futuristic-looking machine is being developed by Sikorsky together with Boeing, and uses the former’s X2 Technology , with rigid, counter-rotating blades up top and another one at the rear, fly-by-wire controls, and integrated auxiliary propulsion. This should allow it to fly fast and low, and land and take off quickly from hot zones.

“We are ready to deliver unparalleled capabilities backed by proven technologies that will truly transform the Army’s mission today – with room to grow and adapt to the missions of tomorrow,” said in a statement Andy Adams, Sikorsky vice president of Future Vertical Lift.

“Defiant X not only includes the transformational aircraft, mission systems and revolutionary sustainment solution, but also leverages Sikorsky’s and Boeing’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.”

No other details about the helicopter have been made available. The Army is expected to release the request for proposal on FLRAA later this yer, and a contract is expected to be awarded in 2022.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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