WASHINGTON—Officials from Boeing have revealed details of a concept for a new future attack helicopter it is showcasing at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference here this week. Defence Blog reports that the revised attack variant of the helicopter is designed to destroy tanks, armoured and non-armoured ground targets, and enemy troops and helicopters both on the front line and in tactical reserves.
The aircraft’s capabilities are largely derived from the X2 rigid co-axial rotor system, which has already proven its airworthiness through flights of the X2 and S-97 Raider. With two coaxial rotors on top that rotate in opposite directions, the extra lift from each rotor’s advancing blade balances out the diminished lift from the opposite side’s retreating blade to eliminate retreating blade stall.
The new design, which includes a tapered horizontal tail, is very strongly recalled single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra. The new assault and attack will be developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the SB>1 DEFIANT, that provides commonality between platforms to reduce overall development and life cycle costs.
Sikorsky and Boeing have designed the SB>1 DEFIANT to provide the right combination of speed, lift and range that are paramount to both the assault and attack missions while increasing overall maneuverability and agility. Developed with 85 percent commonality between attack and assault aircraft, the SB>1 DEFIANT will reduce development and life-cycle costs and ensure minimal disruption or loss of existing rotorcraft expertise. Its open mission systems architecture allows rapid technology and capability insertion to meet evolving Future Vertical Lift requirements and provide the U.S. Military with evolutionary sustainability, affordability and readiness for years to come.