Next generation of military aircraft designed in Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The future of Army aviation is here. It’s the next generation of helicopters that are twice as fast and can travel twice as far.
”The Army took a look at what the future operating environment is going to be and felt the need for an increased capability. You know in the years 2030 and beyond, there’s going to be a need for more speed, more range,” said Development Director for Lockheed Martin Sikorsky Jay Macklin.
WAFF 48 was invited to co-pilot today’s mission, using this simulator that gives everyone in the seat a feel for what it’s like to fly over trees and mountains, inside the Defiant X, the next generation of aircrafts, designed for the military.
“You’re twice the speed, twice the range and twice the useful load without sacrificing anything that the black hawk has,” said Chris Downey of Boeing.
“This aircraft can take the infantry into battle, this aircraft can pick up a large load that a black hawk can’t pick up today,” said Macklin.
The simulator could have been built anywhere, but leaders at Lockheed Martin Sikorsky chose Huntsville, for a specific reason.
“Being right next to Redstone Arsenal, to be next to our Army customer, so they can come here, and really work closely with us to develop and continue to develop this aircraft moving forward,” said Macklin.
Lockheed Martin Sikorsky is working with Boeing on the Defiant X project. Together, they’re competing against Bell, for the contracts from the Army. A decision should be made sometime in the new year.
Lockheed Martin Sikorsky is also building an aircraft called Raider X. It’s designed to have a pilot and one passenger. Guns are attached to the aircraft and they can carry missiles.
Leaders with Lockheed Martin Sikorsky say the improved technology and power of this aircraft is what the Army needs.
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