Home Americas US Army test pilots fly FLRAA contender SB>1 Defiant

US Army test pilots fly FLRAA contender SB>1 Defiant

SB>1 Defiant in flight
US Army pilots conducted a flight of the Sikorsky Boeing SB>1 Defiant at the Sikorsky location in West Palm Beach, Florida, in September 2021. Photo: Lockheed Martin

US Army experimental test pilots (XPs) from the Redstone Test Center (RTC) recently flew the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter as part of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program preparations for the FLRAA test effort.

The flights in September were in support of the joint multi-role technology demonstration effort and the Future Vertical Lift (FVL), the army said in a release.

The joint multi-role technology demonstration program has demonstrated advanced rotorcraft technologies in support of FVL. In March 2021, the Army also awarded two Other Transaction Authority agreements to Sikorsky and Bell to continue their work in the second phase of a competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) effort.

CD&RR applies digital, model-based systems engineering to weapon system designs and further informs Army requirements, with a weapon system development contract award for FLRAA planned in fiscal year 2022.

RTC, a subordinate organization of ATEC, is the army’s primary test center for the test and evaluation of aircraft and aviation systems. FVL is a top priority for ATEC and RTC as part of army modernization.

ATEC provides direct support to Army Futures Command and relevant, timely information to Army senior leaders to make future force decisions enabling Multi-Domain Operations through requisite independent developmental testing, operational tests and evaluations.

ATEC XPs and flight test engineers support both the FLRAA and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programs and are dedicated to supporting this important mission in support of Army Modernization efforts.

In the acquisition process of fielding an aircraft, Army XPs plan, execute, and report on flight test results of the equipment to enable the Program Managers to make informed materiel decisions.

The test pilots also conducted similar efforts during demonstration flights of the Bell V-280 Valor.