The Army on Monday evening announced it has selected Bell’s [TXT] V-280 Valor and Sikorsky [LMT] and Boeing’s [BA] SB-1 Defiant to move forward in its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

Bell and the team of Sikorksky and Boeing, the two participants in the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program to inform final requirements for the Black Hawk-replacement program, will now head into the FLRAA Competitive Demo & Risk Reduction (CD&RR) phase.

Sikorsky and Boeing’s SB<1 Defiant. Photo: Matthew Beinart.

 “These agreements are an important milestone for FLRAA,” Patrick Mason, program executive officer for aviation, said in a statement “The CD&RR continues to transition technologies from the JMR-TD effort to the FLRAA weapons system design. We will be conducting analysis to refine the requirements, conceptual designs, and acquisition approach. Ultimately, this information and industry feedback are vital to understanding the performance, cost, affordability, schedule risks and trades needed to successfully execute the FLRAA program.”

Bell’s V-280 tiltorotor has flown more than 160 hours over the last two years. The company told reporters in January the aircraft completed a successful autonomous test flight in December (Defense Daily, Jan. 9). 

Sikorsky-Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant has 11 hours in the air across 13 flights over the last year. The company told reporters in February following the first public flight that the team has gathered thousands of hours of data from component testing and simulation (Defense Daily, Feb. 20). 

The Army is aiming to field the first FLRAA platforms in 2030.