Sikorsky and Boeing released a combined statement about the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault aircraft program on April 15.
We are excited about our continued partnership with the U.S. Army on the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction program to develop this vital modernization capability. Defiant X builds on the handling qualities and transformational capabilities proven in flight tests by our SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator and is already undergoing testing and evaluation in a digital combat environment. The result is an adaptable design that delivers transformational speed, range and unprecedented maneuverability at the X. Defiant X will be a critical enabler for full-spectrum convergence of Army and joint operations assets on the multi-domain operational battlefield.
As we ramp up CD&RR we will refine the final set of weapon system requirements and complete our preliminary design review for our Defiant X weapon system. Supporting this review will be subsystem preliminary design reviews conducted with our exceptional suppliers. The overarching objective of this phase of the program is to enable the successful execution of detailed design following contract down-select. The team of hundreds of hand-picked experts from Sikorsky and Boeing will continue their work to develop an optimized assault aircraft for the Army. Additional activities will include:
* Refining our virtual prototype, utilizing a digital twin and digital design techniques that are embedded in our processes today. State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other production programs, and will enable the Army to not only lower the acquisition cost, but enable rapid, affordable upgrades to stay ahead of the evolving threat. We will continue to sharpen our tools with data from flight test, our powered system test bed, end to end SIL, Sikorsky S-97 Raider flight test, and other risk reduction activities.
* Sharpening and demonstrating our Modular Open Systems Approach which will enable the Army to readily modify and upgrade Defiant X as new needs and opportunities appear.
* Closing on the details around an exceptional warfighter experience, including the pilots in the cockpit, crew chiefs and troops in the cabin. Maintainers will continue to perform procedures at scale in virtual reality labs, sharing their perspective with designers on everything from ease of access, to ergonomics, to how straightforward it is to remove parts for servicing.
* Quantifying the exceptional reliability, maintainability and availability that is better than the proven UH-60 Black Hawk despite the leap in capability.
* Although the development and design completed under CD&RR Phase II will continue to inform the U.S. government for their FLRAA down select in mid-2022, the effort in Phase II is also part of a series of developmental steps and design reviews. Phase II is focused on functionality, integration and developing all the data and artifacts to accomplish a preliminary design review.