Lockheed Martin and Boeing announced on Thursday that they picked Honeywell as the engine provider for Defiant X, their helicopter design proposal for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.
The HTS7500 turboshaft engine that will be provided by Honeywell is the newest model in Honeywell’s family of military engines. The new engine will come equipped with a modernized control system, which enables a secure flow of engine data. The company says the control system improves operating capabilities, reduces life-cycle costs, and ensures engine health status through its digital thread road map.
“Team Defiant strength is built on the experience of Sikorsky and Boeing, and a commitment to Army Aviation,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. “Honeywell’s history with Boeing and the U.S. Army makes us even more confident that Defiant X is the best fit for the Army’s total mission.”
The announcement on the engine provider comes after the Sikorsky-Boeing team submitted their Defiant X proposal for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) last year.
The team said previously that Defiant X flies twice as far and twice as fast as the Black Hawk helicopter it is intended to replace — and sits in the same operational footprint. Defiant X benefits from coaxial rotor technology to achieve speed and reach advantage over conventional aircraft. Rotating in opposite directions, the extra lift from each rotor’s advancing blade balances out the diminished lift from the opposite side’s retreating blade to eliminate retreating blade stall. To provide the raw forward thrust for fast flight, the back of the Defiant mounts a pusher propulsor, allowing the aircraft to fly faster than today’s conventional helicopters.
“DefiantX is a transformational aircraft, and Honeywell is giving us a transformational engine to power it,” said Paul Lemmo, president of Sikorsky.
The US Army has already flown the Defiant X during trials at the Redstone Test Center (RTC), and is expected to award a contract this year. Defiant X is competing against the V280 tiltrotor aircraft design that is being offered by Bell.