DEFIANT X a Revolutionary Helicopter for the U.S. Army
Future wars will not be fought like the wars of today
Boeing media release
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Boeing's DEFIANT X is an advanced utility helicopter and air assault weapon system that can fly low and fast, land quickly, deliver soldiers to the objective area (known as the "X") and get out - all while evading the enemy in complex terrain.
It's an agile, manoeuvrable aircraft that flies twice as far and twice as fast as the Black Hawk helicopter it will replace - and sits in the same operational footprint.
DEFIANT X builds on the handling qualities and transformational capabilities proven by SB>1 DEFIANT, a Sikorsky-Boeing technology demonstrator helping to inform the U.S. Army's future vertical lift requirements. Combined with our team's unsurpassed experience in mission systems, training and sustainment, DEFIANT X will significantly advance the Army's air assault capability with limited changes in tactics, techniques, procedures, training and infrastructure.
DEFIANT X is purposefully designed for the U.S. Army's Future Long Range Air Assault competition, a top modernization priority, and will revolutionize the way the Army meets threats in 2035 and beyond.
It will be the fastest, most manoeuvrable and most survivable military helicopter in history.
Total force protection starts with unmatched tactical manoeuvrability "at the X." With its rigid coaxial rotor system and pusher propeller, DEFIANT X incorporates proven Sikorsky X2 Technology™ to operate at high speeds while maintaining low-speed handling qualities.
This allows DEFIANT X to deliver speed where it matters - through tree lines, river beds, mountain ranges or contested urban environments - providing soldiers with unmatched manoeuvrability and survivability in high-threat air defence environments.
This critical capability allows crews to penetrate enemy defences while reducing exposure to enemy fire, so they can quickly insert and extract soldiers with all their mission equipment in position - when seconds matter.
DEFIANT X is also optimized for:
Operational effectiveness in multi-domain operations (MDO) and Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO) environments, with the ability to connect all battlefield assets;
Sustainment, including extended maintenance-free operating periods, ease of maintenance in austere environments, reduced forward logistics burdens and long-term affordability and interoperability with current aircraft, techniques and infrastructure.
Six ways DEFIANT X supports the Army's total mission
The wars of tomorrow are won with the innovations of today. DEFIANT X ®, an advanced air assault weapon system and utility helicopter, is the aircraft of the future. Flying low, traveling at high speeds, landing quickly and delivering soldiers to their destination-all while out-manoeuvring the enemy-makes this aircraft critical across multiple domains. With its revolutionary design, DEFIANT X ® balances capability, speed and range without sacrificing the inherent utility and vertical lift manoeuvre of a helicopter. It will deliver reliable and cost-effective capabilities, beyond current knowledge and understanding, well into the future.
During air assaults, soldiers must find the best route and landing zone (also known as the 'X') to accomplish the mission at the objective. High agility throughout the entire mission profile is essential to return the aircraft-and the soldiers they carry-safely home. DEFIANT X ® enables safer operations with fly-by-wire controls, rigid main rotor and hover power in complex, low altitude environments. Its design enables instantaneous altitude changes and rapid acceleration and deceleration. Achieving 247 knots in level flight and 50 knots in sideward flight, the aircraft's manoeuvrability and agility is tested and proven.
Designed with survivability in mind, DEFIANT X ® boasts single-engine flight capabilities as well as the ability to sustain current helicopter speeds even if the propulsor is lost in combat. The aircraft also adds power to the propeller and main rotor to rapidly accelerate and decelerate without changing pitch attitude. And, the aircraft has a rigid rotor system that allows the execution of turns in half the time of traditional helicopters, enabling fast evasion of threats.
DEFIANT X ®'s innovative approach has sustainability incorporated throughout the design. The maintenance-friendly aircraft achieves increased availability with decreased sustainment costs. Its commonality with the Army's existing physical, training and sustainment infrastructure makes repairs and production faster, training easier and affordability tangible. And its digital backbone creates a smarter aircraft to help deliver maintenance when needed.
As the Army modernizes across all disciplines, they will need to do so efficiently to meet their objectives. DEFIANT X ® is grounded in existing tactics, techniques and procedures. It fits in the existing BLACK HAWK footprint and requires no change to Army doctrine, which greatly reduces costs. Combined with a design approach focused on reliability and maintainability, DEFIANT X ® was built to lower total ownership costs over its life cycle.
The aircraft of the future are versatile and able to meet a variety of needs and missions. DEFIANT X ® offers superior capability. With a flexible, agile, advanced solution built on a digital design, the aircraft adapts easily to include different missions-like MEDEVAC, SOCOM, resupply and logistics and troop movement-software and systems for future growth across multiple missions. By using proven technology in the design combined with digital engineering and a modular open systems approach, the aircraft is easily scalable and adds utility at a lower cost and with minimal risk.
Together, Boeing and Sikorsky and have built 90% of the U.S. Army's current military rotorcraft and have totalled more than 15 million flight hours. As the team that brought forward iconic military rotorcraft including Chinook, Apache and Black Hawk, the team's expertise is in advanced manufacturing, testing and producing cutting-edge rotorcraft configurations that fly when operators need them. The factories of the future already exist at Boeing and Lockheed Martin Sikorsky and the team is ready to produce the Future of Vertical Lift.