ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 28, 2022 — Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, filed a formal protest today asking the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the U.S. Army’s decision on the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) contract.
Boeing supports the protest filed by our Team DEFIANT partner, asking the GAO to review the Army’s decision.
Based on a thorough review of the information and feedback provided by the Army, Lockheed Martin Sikorsky, on behalf of Team DEFIANT, is challenging the FLRAA decision. The data and discussions lead us to believe the proposals were not consistently evaluated to deliver the best value in the interest of the Army, our Soldiers and American taxpayers. The critical importance of the FLRAA mission to the Army and our nation requires the most capable, affordable, and lowest-risk solution. We remain confident DEFIANT X is the transformational aircraft the Army requires to accomplish its complex missions today and well into the future.
The Army’s decision to adopt the Bell V-280 Tiltrotor, which will eventually replace the Black Hawk, has drawn criticism from Boeing and Sikorsky.
The Bell V-280 Valor and the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT aircraft are being developed for the U.S. military as part of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program. Tiltrotor aircraft are able to take off and land vertically like helicopters, but also have the ability to tilt their rotors to fly horizontally like fixed-wing aircraft.
The Bell V-280 Valor is being developed by Bell Textron Inc., a major American aerospace manufacturer, as a joint multirole aircraft for the U.S. Army. It is designed to be able to transport troops and cargo, as well as conduct reconnaissance and other missions. The V-280 has a cruising speed of 280 knots (320 mph) and a range of over 2,100 nautical miles (2,400 miles). It is expected to be operational by the mid-2020s.
Defiant On March 21, 2019, it had its maiden flight. It is a compound helicopter with stiff coaxial rotors and two Honeywell T55 turboshaft engines. This helicopter is a little bit taller than the present Black Hawk and lacks a tail rotor, but it still has a suitable engine that provides the aircraft with forward power, allowing it to reach a top speed of 460 km/h.
The SB>1 DEFIANT is being developed by Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, and Boeing as a high-speed, long-range helicopter for the U.S. Army. It is designed to be able to reach speeds of up to 280 knots (320 mph) and has a range of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,150 miles).
Both the V-280 and the DEFIANT are being developed as part of the U.S. military’s efforts to modernize its vertical lift capabilities and meet the evolving needs of future conflicts. They are expected to offer significant improvements in speed, range, and payload capacity over current helicopter platforms.
The army’s decision to select the V280 aircraft over the Defiant has upset Boeing and Sikorsky. The decision to test the helicopter for taking up the US Army is currently being challenged. Both aircraft have unique capabilities, with the Defiant helicopter being similar to that even while the V280 is a tilt-rotor that provides vertical lift and forward motions.