The U.S. army concluded with the American company Bell and a consortium of Sikorsky/Boeing contracts for the development and testing of prototypes of high-speed multi-purpose rotary-wing aircraft. As writes Flightglobal, thus the company was allowed to participate in the tender FLRAA (Future Long Range Aircraft Assault perspective assault aircraft, long-range), announced in September last year.
Competition FLRAA is part of a larger tender FVL (Future Vertical Lift, promising devices with vertical takeoff), announced by the U.S. Army in 2011. This tender involves the simultaneous conduct of several competitions for the creation of five types of new aircraft of army aviation: from reconnaissance and light to medium shock heavy transport that can compete in capacity with the transport planes. Competition FLRAA aims to create a medium multi-purpose helicopters, with the possibility of refinement in the shock version.
The competition FLRAA developers need to create a rotorcraft that could in the future replace the multi-purpose helicopters UH-60 Black Hawk. According to the list of requirements, the new rotorcraft will have to fly at a cruising speed of 280 knots (519 km / h). Combat radius should be not less than 556 miles, a ferry range of flight — 4520 rbkjvtnhjd. The machine is designed to carry 12 soldiers.
Under the terms of agreements with Bell and Sikorsky/Boeing, the developers will have to protect the projects and finalize them taking into account the comments of the military, after which the prototype aircraft will be allowed to take the competitive tests. The contract for the production of an experimental batch of helicopters with one of the members is scheduled to conclude in the third quarter of 2021. Large-scale testing of new machines military expect to begin in the third quarter of 2024. It is expected that the program FLRAA join special operations Forces and the marine Corps.
The company Bell was put out to tender by the U.S. Army tiltrotor V-280 Valor, and a consortium of Sikorsky/Boeing — speed helicopter, SB>1 Defiant. According to the military plans, the first unit with the multi-purpose rotary-wing aircraft, developed in the framework of FLRAA be completed no later than 2030.