Boeing and Sikorsky unveiled their bid for the US Army's Joint Multi-Role helicopter program on Monday, calling it the 'Defiant.' (Aaron Mehta/Staff)
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WASHINGTON — At Monday’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference here, Sikorsky and Boeing unveiled the official name for their Joint Multi-Role (JMR) helicopter technology demonstrator: Defiant.
The companies arrived at the name as a mission statement, according to Boeing’s Leanne Caret, general manager of vertical lift.
“You’ll see from the name ‘Defiant’ we’re looking for the future, to do it different from the way we’ve done it in the past… recognizing we need to defy conventional business norms,” Caret said.
Samir Mehta, president of Sikorsky Military Systems, touted the collaboration between the two companies.
“We’re extremely proud of the fact that we’ve already uncovered key technologies and improvements to existing technologies that neither company could have captured on its own, so the collaboration is bearing fruit already,” Mehta said. “We’re in it for the long term. That hasn’t changed.”
The JMR helicopter program will replace Apaches and Black Hawks by the mid-2030s.
On Oct. 2, the Army announced it was investing $217 million in the first phase of its ambitious JMR program, calling this first development stage the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative.
Four teams, including the newly-minted Team Defiant, each won $6.5 million awards to begin work on the initial technology demonstration. Other competitors include Bell Helicopter/Textron and newcomers AVX Aircraft Co. and Karem Aircraft.
In late fiscal 2014, the Army will select two competitors who will then build platforms that will be readied for flight tests.
Paul McLeary contributed to this report.