Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Co., and Boeing appointed Honeywell as engine supplier for DEFIANT Xthe cutting-edge helicopter of the US Army’s FLRAA (Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft) competition.
The US military launched the FLRAA in 2019 to develop a new utility helicopter that will replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk from 2030.
The DEFIANT X weapon system builds on the handling qualities and capabilities proven by the team’s technology demonstrator, SB>1 DEFIANT.
With Honeywell providing the HTS7500 turboshaft enginethe DEFIANT team brings the Army aviation experience to the FLRAA while integrating with legacy platforms and existing infrastructure.
The HTS7500 turboshaft engine is the newest and most technologically advanced model in the Honeywell military engine family, which includes the T55 engine that has powered the H-47 fleet for more than 60 years. Like the T55, the HTS7500 is designed to thrive in austere environments. The HTS7500 exceeds mission power and fuel consumption requirements.
Powered by a pair of HTS7500 engines, the DEFIANT X can fly 2x faster and farther than the Black Hawk and is currently being tested in a digital combat environment, where it continues to prove itself for mission demands.
The new engine is equipped with a modernized control system, which enables a highly secure flow of engine data. The control system improves operating capabilities, reduces life cycle costs and ensures engine health with its digital roadmap.
“This engine builds on the combat-proven architecture of the T55,” said Dave Marinick, president, Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. “The engine is structurally similar, which is ideal for field maintenance managers as they can use current tools and training. However, in terms of performance, the HTS7500 is 42% more powerful than the T55-GA -714A and has the lowest overall weight compared to other engines in its power class.
“The strength of the DEFIANT team is based on the experience of Sikorsky and Boeing, and a commitment to military aviation,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. “Honeywell’s history with Boeing and the US military makes us even more convinced that DEFIANT X is the best choice for the total military mission.”
“DEFIANT X is a transformational aircraft, and Honeywell is giving us a transformational engine to power it,” said Paul Lemmo, President of Sikorsky.
“Honeywell is thrilled to be a part of Team DEFIANT and proud to play a role in the future of vertical lifting for the U.S. military,” said Ricky Freeman, president, Defense and Space, Honeywell Aerospace. “We are confident that our HTS7500 engine on the DEFIANT X platform will provide the military with an agile, fast and maneuverable platform that will help ensure outrun capability in the future battlespace.”
Together, Sikorsky and Boeing have built 90% of the US Army’s current military rotorcraft and have flown more than 15 million hours. Sikorsky-Boeing submitted the DEFIANT X proposal for the U.S. Army FLRAA in September 2021. Contract award is expected this year.
The HTS7500 turbine engine at a glance
• Combat-proven engine architecture
• Demonstrated tolerance to sand ingestion
• 42% power improvement (compared to T55-714A)
• 18% reduction in specific fuel consumption (compared to T55-714A)
• Commonalities with US Army equipment already deployed