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The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant has completed its initial ground run and is now advancing through the ground testing activity in the build up to first flight, the program team has announced.
“The joint Sikorsky-Boeing team is working rigorously toward a productive, informative flight test program that will inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator [JMR-TD] program,” the manufacturers said in a joint statement.
The Defiant, a high-speed rigid rotor coaxial rotorcraft, is one of two medium demonstration helicopters for JMR-TD, a program that is anticipated to lead into the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program in the mid 2030s to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache. The other is Bell’s V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor.
Based on Sikorsky’s cutting-edge compound technology, previously flown in the X2 and S-97 Raider, the Defiant has a clutched rear pusher prop in addition to its coaxial rigid rotors. Weighing over 30,000 pounds, it is designed to achieve high speed and long range, while improving maneuverability and survivability in a cost-effective package.