Sikorsky-Boeing team submits FLRAA proposal

By Ethan Sterenfeld / September 8, 2021 at 1:43 PM

A Sikorsky-Boeing team submitted its proposal Sept. 7 for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, the Army's planned replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, according to a joint press release from the companies.

The Army released the request for proposals for FLRAA in July to the Sikorsky-Boeing team and Textron's Bell. Both teams participated in two competitive demonstration and risk-reduction phases for the program, and the Army is expected to choose one of them in fiscal year 2022 to produce FLRAA.

DEFIANT X, the Sikorsky-Boeing team's proposed aircraft, would have increased range, speed and survivability compared to the Black Hawk, as well as lower lifecycle costs, according to the press release. The aircraft would fit within 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 [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command] and across the globe,” Paul Lemno, Sikorsky president, and Mark Cherry, vice president of vertical lift at Boeing, said in the press release.

Together, the partners have built 90% of the service’s current helicopter fleet, according to the press release. Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, builds the Black Hawk, while Boeing manufactures the Army’s two other most common helicopters, the CH-47 Chinook and the AH-64 Apache.

Bell plans to submit its V-280 Valor design for the FLRAA competition. The aircraft completed a three-year flight-test program in June. Bell and Sikorsky are also competing for the Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft, the program to replace the Apache helicopter.