Airbus wants to join forces with Leonardo to deal with new generation American helicopters

The US Army Futur Vertical Lift program, one of the components of super-program BIG-6, will undoubtedly profoundly change the technological characteristics of helicopters in the decades to come, and above all the expected performance, both in terms of speed, range and lift capacity. For the time being, FVL consists of Futur Long Range Assault Aircraft program, or FLRAA, intended to replace the H-60 ​​Black Hawks, as well as the program Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft, or FARA, to re-capitalize the attack and reconnaissance component that the US Army lost with the withdrawal of the OH-58 Kiowa. And whether it is the Bell V-280 Valor or SB1 Defiant by Sikorsky for FLRAA, like Sikorsky Raider-X and Bell xnumx invictus (to a lesser extent) for FARA, these aircraft offer new technological approaches offering capabilities hitherto inaccessible to rotary wings.

It is precisely to counter the technological leap in gestation across the Atlantic, thanks in particular to the $ 5 billion in R&D which feeds the FARA and FLRAA programs, and in particular the development and tests of the 4 demonstrators, that Jerome Combe, who heads the strategy and the industrial policy ofAirbus Helicopters, proposed to the Italian Leonardo, whose helicopter component brings together the Italian branch Agusta and the British Westland, to come together to jointly develop technologies, such as devices likely to stand up to the new US rotary wings that will hit the military and civilian market early in the next decade.

Sikorsky's SB1 Defiant uses a counter-rotating rotor and a propellant propeller to reach speeds of the order of 250 knots

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