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AUSA 2021: US Army test pilots fly Defiant tech demonstrator during FLRAA source selection

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator as seen on 20 February 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. US Army test pilots have flown the platform during FLRAA source selection to help the team better refine its end product for the service if Sikorsky-Boeing wins the FLRAA procurement. (Janes/Pat Host)

US Army test pilots recently flew the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator during source selection for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition to help the team have a better end product for the service if it wins the procurement.

Chris Downey, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security Future Vertical Lift (FVL) global sales and marketing, told Janes on 14 October that Sikorsky-Boeing is concerned with continuing to gather as much information and data as possible to better validate its Defiant X design and improve its models, tools, and processes. Having the US Army test pilots fly the SB>1 Defiant during source selection also helps the team optimise its software.

Downey said two US Army test pilots flew the SB>1 Defiant in its last two flights, which took place after proposal submission. Sikorsky-Boeing submitted its bid in September.

“We are more concerned with the weapon system and gathering all of the information that we possibly can to better build (it) for the US Army,” Downey said.

Bell, offering the V-280 Valor tiltrotor for FLRAA, had five US Army experimental test pilots fly the aircraft in more than 15 sorties prior to source selection. Bell has retired the V-280 technology demonstrator it developed during the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase. The SB>1 Defiant was also built during JMR-TD.

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