Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky unit plans to offer to NATO countries the technology on the SB>1 Defiant and S-97 Raider helicopters that it has developed for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, the company said at the Farnborough Airshow.
The company has branded its advances for the FVL as X2 Technology. The design includes compound co-axial main rotors, power shift between the main rotor and the propeller, and reverse thrust on the latter. The propeller can also be switched on and off, and both it and the main rotor can reduce speed into a quieter "whisper mode" for greater tactical surprise.
Sikorsky describes the features as “fifth-generation helicopter technology.” When flying against a near-peer threat from an Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), combat helicopters must fly low, fast, and quiet, according to Sikorsky. They must also be survivable if damaged. The Sikorsky offerings can increase speed without changing attitude; the power shift enables higher speeds and hover nose-down capability to aim sensors and weapons without changing position.
The Defiant is aimed at the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft requirement. The Raider is designed for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft requirement.