Lockheed Martin's Future SB>1 Defiant 'Warcopter' Could Replace Apache, Blackhawk

By Prei Dy, | April 20, 2017

Lockheed Martin's future 'warcopter' could potentially replace the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. (YouTube)

Lockheed Martin's future 'warcopter' could potentially replace the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. (YouTube)

Lockheed Martin has unveiled a new concept video featuring a new vertical lift program, dubbed the SB>1 Defiant, which could potentially replace the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and the UH-60 Blackhawk.

The SB>1 Defiant is about to bring changes into the future of combat as the fly-by-wire concept is said to have a speed of about 300mph, could cruise at 250 knots, and could hover like a hummingbird at an altitude of 6,000 feet. This is nearly two times faster compared with the UH-60M Blackhawk that only has a top speed of 183 miles per hour.

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 "The primary advantage that Defiant's going to offer over a traditional helicopter is, it's got twice the speed, two to three times the range, and is just an extremely maneuverable and agile platform," Marine Maj. Frank P. Conway, an experimental test pilot of Boeing, said, referring to the SB>1 Defiant and the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.

It is also designed with two coaxial rotors as well as a pusher propeller and active rudders that provide pilot more stability when hovering, accelerating and decelerating. The 'warcopter' concept is based on X2 technology, which was designed particularly for speed, maneuverability, and scalability. The lift could also carry more cargo than average helicopters, but Lockheed is yet to spill the beans and reveal Defiant's range and payload capacity.

Defiant, which is currently being designed and constructed by Lockheed Martin's subsidiary Sikorksy-Boeing, also boasts of innovative designs. The concept 'warcopter' could also reportedly be equipped with foldable, ridged composite rotor blades that allows it to create less downwash when it is lowered to the ground.

The SB>1 Defiant could also seat 12 people or accommodate eight medevac pallets. And it flaunts weapon employments with different modes of flight. It can also substantially reduce acoustic signature, making it quieter than conventional helicopters.

The SB>1 Defiant is being built for the US Army's Joint MultiRole-Technology Demonstrator (JRM-TD)/Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort.

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