WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has given the nod for continued development of a new medium-lift military helicopter by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Boeing.
Continued development the team's SB>1 Defiant will be for the Army's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 1 program, or JMR TD), which is leading the way for the next-generation of vertical lift aircraft.
"Defiant will use Sikorsky's proven X2 technology to overcome aircraft design challenges, which will be critical requirements on future vertical lift aircraft," said Sikorsky President Mick Maurer.
"The Sikorsky-Boeing team's integrated approach has created a unique blend of expertise, innovative spirit and customer commitment that are unmatched in the industry. The complementary capabilities of each team member have delivered a design that will provide the best future vertical-lift solution to the U.S. Army, and the flexibility of our design makes it suited for naval applications as well."
The Defiant aircraft will feature counter-rotating, rigid main rotor blades for vertical and forward flight, a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration and an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system.
The Sikorsky-Boeing partnership said the Defiant will fly faster and farther than any current medium-lift helicopter today and also carry a heavier payload.
The two companies partnered last year to build the aircraft, which is scheduled for first flight in 2017.
Bell Helicopter is also building a prototype aircraft for the Army program.