The U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme is moving forward with two competitive demonstration contracts being awarded to Bell team and to the Sikorsky-Boeing team.
Bell is competing with its V-280 Valor solution while Sikorsky-Boeing is offering its SB>1 Defiant.
The Bell V-280 Valor
The V-280 is reported to be designed for a cruising speed of 280 knots (hence the name V-280), a top speed of 300 knots, a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi. Expected maximum takeoff weight is around 30,000 pounds.
The Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant
The design will have a cruise speed of 250 knots, but less range due to using the “old” T55 engine. A new engine, the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE), is to meet the range requirement of 229 nmi. Compared to conventional helicopters, the counter-rotating coaxial main rotors and pusher propeller offer a 100-knot speed increase, a 60% combat radius extension, and 50% better performance in high-hot hover performance.