Stratford-based Sikorsky, working in partnership with Boeing, has unveiled its next-generation military helicopter, the SB>1 Defiant.
According to the companies, the SB>1 Defiant is designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today’s helicopters. The helicopter features two counter-rotating rigid blades on its top and a pusher propeller in lieu of a tail rotor that can enable it to achieve turboprop speeds. The SB>1 Defiant’s cabin can transport 12 combat troops and a four-person crew.
The aircraft is one of two entries in the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, joining the Bell V-280 Valor from Bell Helicopter and Lockheed. While the Bell V-280 had its first test flight in December 2017, the SB>1 Defiant’s inaugural flight this month was rescheduled from this month to early 2019. The Army expects the new helicopters to enter service in the 2030s.