The Army has selected Bell Helicopter and a Sikorsky-Boeing

partnership for the technology and flight demonstration phase of the envisioned Joint Multi-Role (JMR) helicopter, the companies said Tuesday.

The firms were selected by the Army Aviation Technology Directorate to carry out the work under the Future Vertical Lift program for the next generation of Army helicopters. The companies did not state the value of the contracts.

Sikorsky, a division of United Technologies [UTX], and Boeing [BA] are developing the SB>1 Defiant, a medium lift helicopter and derivative of Sikorsky’s X2 coaxial design.

“Defiant will use Sikorsky’s proven X2 technology to overcome aircraft design challenges, which will be critical requirements on future vertical lift aircraft,” Mick Maurer, Sikorsky president, said in a statement. “The Sikorsky-Boeing team’s integrated approach has created a unique blend of expertise, innovative spirit and customer commitment that are unmatched in the industry.

“The complementary capabilities of each team member have delivered a design that will provide the best future vertical lift solution to the U.S. Army, and the flexibility of our design makes it suited for naval applications as well,” he added. “This is a major leap forward.”

Bell Helicopter, a division of Textron [TXT], is developing the V-280 Valor for the FVL program.

“Bell Helicopter is pleased the company’s Bell V-280 Valor has been selected to continue in the U.S. Army’s JMR-TD program to build and fly a demonstrator aircraft,” said Keith Flail, the company’s program director for the V-280. “The aircraft can provide the military with unmatched range, speed and payload capabilities, and is designed with operational agility in mind to provide our soldiers transformational reach and revolutionary capability on the battlefield.”