Sikorsky and Boeing plan to submit a joint proposal to a develop and build a new prototype helicopter based on Sikorsky's X-2 high speed rotorcraft design for the US Army's Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstrator (TD) phase 1 programme.
"By leveraging our proven design, we can offer the army reduced risk, a 100kt (185km/h) improvement in speed, a 60% improvement in combat radius, and 50% better high-hot hover performance," says Samir Mehta, president of Sikorsky's military aircraft division.
Mehta says the joint proposal will use the X-2's counter-rotating coaxial main rotors, pusher propeller, and advanced fly-by-wire system. The aircraft will efficiently cruise at 230kt, and have improved hover efficiency, Mehta says.
While Sikorsky is taking the lead role in developing the air vehicle, Boeing will be focused on the aircraft's mission systems. "Sikorsky will take the lead role in this JMR TD Phase 1 proposal, and Boeing will take a lead role for Phase 2, the mission systems demonstrator programme," says Leanne Caret, vice president of Boeing's vertical lift division.
The army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) expects proposals for JMR TD Phase 1 to be in by 6 March. The AATD is expected select one or more winning designs later this year. These would then be developed into flying prototypes, the first of which are expected to get airborne in 2017.
The ultimate goal of the JMR TD programme is to support the army's Future Vertical Lift effort to develop and field a family of next generation of high speed utility and attack rotorcraft by the 2030s. "Our companies are fully committed to the long-term nature of the Future Vertical Lift initiative," Caret says. "We will contribute equally in terms of capital, technological capability and risk on our path to meeting the army's requirements."