Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Sikorsky unit is out out with a new video touting its concept for a coaxial attack helicopter for the U.S. Army.
The three-and-a-half-minute animated video was released Monday and features the company’s idea for an assault and attack variant of the SB>1 Defiant, a large coaxial design it’s pitching for the U.S. Army‘s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstrator and Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programs.
The attack version will cruise at more than 250 knots — nearly double the speed of the average helo, perform a hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees Fahrenheit — which at standard temperature is almost the equivalent of flying at 14,000 feet, and hold a crew of four and up to 12 combat-equipped troops or room for up to eight litters, according to the commercial.
With increased range and payload, the choppers could be refueled by KC-130J and next-generation Air Force tankers, according to the advertisement.
Sikorsky has already made numerous test flights of its S-97 Raider, a smaller prototype of the SB>1 Defiant, including an evaluation last fall in which the aircraft flew for the first time with its wheels up.
The Raider was initially designed for a $16 billion U.S. Army weapons acquisition program called the Armed Aerial Scout to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, one of the smallest helicopters in the fleet. While the service put that acquisition effort on hold due to budget limitations, Sikorsky, maker of the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and other aircraft, still plans to sell the coaxial design in the U.S. and abroad.
The company and its suppliers have spent tens of millions of dollars developing the technology.
Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter unit, meanwhile, is developing the tilt-rotor V-280 Valor for the JMR program and wants the Army to select its product to replace the Black Hawk helicopter as part of the Future Vertical Lift acquisition effort.