JMR (Joint Multi-Role) & FVL (Future Vertical Lift) Programs

F-14D

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Given their wording, I'm wondering if they're looking at offering an electric tail rotor(s) solution down the road, and see the Increment 1 COTS tail as a better path to get there.


It could also be that Bell has been pushing how their proposal is low risk, a very important thing nowadays. I am looking at verbiage such as, "...we would modify to leverage a proven 525-based open tail rotor design for which we have a lot of flight hours substantiating.”. Army knows open tail rotors, and what Bell may be implying is that that technology would give Army more of a warm fuzzy than a ducted tail rotor.

After all, in order to offer newer technology (assuming it's worth the cost and logistics complications) later, you've got to first win the contract.
 

TomcatViP

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There is also that decreasing the main rotor diameter, assuming that airfoil and geometry are the same, increases the rotation speed for each regime, hence raises the counter torque needs.
It might be then more efficient Power wise to resize the tail rotor as an open rotor than keeping it enclosed in a fenestron.
See also how the moment arm of the tail rotor was reduced with the change in dimensions.
 

Spyclip

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Why is Sikorsky once again not showing a single image of the construction of the Raider-X prototype?

Recall during FLRAA there was only a single (likely accidental) twitter image posted of the green Defiant airframe when it was being delivered from Swift - faaaar late in the schedule at that - while Bell was giving nearly monthly construction updates with the V-280 in Amarillo all the way through completion and ground runs.

Defiant was over a year late to first flight (and first photograph!), despite having the combined budget and engineering manpower of Boeing and Lockheed. Are they behind again?
 

yasotay

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The Army rotorcraft efforts are far more significant for Bell Textron's bottomline than they are for either Boeing or Lockheed.
 

DWG

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There is also that decreasing the main rotor diameter, assuming that airfoil and geometry are the same, increases the rotation speed for each regime, hence raises the counter torque needs.
It might be then more efficient Power wise to resize the tail rotor as an open rotor than keeping it enclosed in a fenestron.
See also how the moment arm of the tail rotor was reduced with the change in dimensions.

There's going to be some interesting changes, at least in the FBW internals, given they've shifted the rotor thrust axis from the bottom of the tailboom and significantly below the rotor disc, to the top of the tailboom, level with the rotor disc, and definitely canted down (or up, I suppose).
 

jsport

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Col Greg Fortier, FARA Project Manager in the PEO-A office.
'There's no version of the world where you can go 180kts at 14k Lbs on a 3k shp engine and a 40ft rotor disc', Fortier said. ...

"Maybe you've got to put some (share of lift) on the wings if you're one of the single-rotor helicopter designs. Or maybe you put eight rotor blades on because you have extra tech.. Maybe those extra rotor blades are pretty big and pretty heavy. That transmission then becomes very heavy to get the speeds and you've got a pusher-prop in the back. Again, nobody's fault, right? It's just physics at the end of the day."

ok, but how is the Karem creature not the closest to eventually tackling some of these goals..
 

yasotay

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Col Greg Fortier, FARA Project Manager in the PEO-A office.
'There's no version of the world where you can go 180kts at 14k Lbs on a 3k shp engine and a 40ft rotor disc', Fortier said. ...

"Maybe you've got to put some (share of lift) on the wings if you're one of the single-rotor helicopter designs. Or maybe you put eight rotor blades on because you have extra tech.. Maybe those extra rotor blades are pretty big and pretty heavy. That transmission then becomes very heavy to get the speeds and you've got a pusher-prop in the back. Again, nobody's fault, right? It's just physics at the end of the day."

ok, but how is the Karem creature not the closest to eventually tackling some of these goals..
Mr. Karem & Co., were attempting to sell motorcycles to the Horse Cavalry...
 

shin_getter

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"No helicopter can hope to hardkill a SAM battery worth of missiles" I have heard this for almost 40 years. Yet UAV, flying at altitude, with no cover, have done a lot of hard killing of "a SAM battery worth of missiles". Certain middle-eastern country have repeatedly done exactly what you say cannot be done in one of the worlds most dense air defense environments.
It is more like any air defense system that could defeat a equal cost UAV force can also defeat helicopters with capability to spare. UAVs have much lower signature, orders of magnitudes lower costs, order of magnitude potential in force scaling, and potentially combinations of faster speeds or longer operating durations. The superior payload for airframe cost means no helicopter born system can be cheaper than a matching vtol/fixed wing solution.

This has not escaped army thinkers and thus ALE is developed, but instead of logical "forward" and "support" force structure, the 'rear force' is saddled with requirements like small rotor diameter, physics pushing speed and likes. This line of thinking is like 8" guns and 6" belt on a aircraft carrier. The entire concept of operation is also convoluted with helicopters, a slow low fuel-payload efficiency airframe, dropping fixed wing as opposed to simple increase capability of the fixed wing.

The high attitude attack is also superior, as light weight systems simply do not have the reach and even a low performing Bayraktar can overfly lots of manpads and SHORAD solutions. If low and slow worked, you'd expect the air force to low attitude airframes. Instead, attack helicopters gets quite a few shootdowns if you follow middle east conflicts, as manpads are not solved.
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As of now few ground formation could stand attacks by combined arms air based attack that air forces are developing, with high low mix of capability across the spectrum for all tactical situations.

It is inconceivable that the army can replicate that level of SEAD capability with a single airframe with a single operating concept.

When it comes down to it, the hard SEAD problem is the airforce problem, and the hard air superiority problem is the airforce problem. What helicopters gets is an airframe that 'does' SEAD but is poorly integrated with the force that actually does SEAD. To actually improve national air attack capability giving the money to the air force would make more sense.

Imagine being the AD network with an A2AD bubble defeated by independent helicopters of all things. That'd would be the joke of the century. Against helicopter force, the defender do not even need to employ heavy emitting AD assets at all, and god knows how long it'd take to kill every guy with a large tube in the combat area.

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The advantages of having army aviation is that such forces are better integrated with rest of army forces than cross branch cooperation. As such army aviation ought to have operating concepts that leverage the rest of the army. Operations within army projected A2AD bubble and LRPF is what would work, not trying to get 'ahead' of friendly forces with independent deep maneuvers. Of course, when your own fires is in range, so is the enemy's so the battle is basically joined and there is no "before" phase.
 
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yasotay

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Almost all, if not all major militaries, that have rotorcraft in their Army and use them in a combined arms fashion. This is a generally accepted methodology. As most of the AD systems are also tied into that same combined arms and are mostly designed for high altitude, the fixed wing aircraft are also at great risk. Thus the development of small expendable UAS to absorb the attack from the AD systems are growing in number.
Many of the first tier armies have also invested in VOLUME fire support systems that are very capable of defeating a maneuvering ground force before contact is made. If these are not dealt BEFORE contact with the opposing ground maneuver is made, the force will likely fail before the engagement.
While I am every bit as enthusiastic about the efforts of fixed wing platforms, I am not as optimistic of their impunity. Recall the Yom Kippur war where the aircraft were not able to effectively overcome the the AD technology, to the point that the United States was flying active squadron aircraft to Israel to deal with the losses. So if the AD technology is better than the air vehicle technology, blue sky flying things are not going to rein over the ground. Also the places that fixed wing have to start and end at, being the most documented bits of terrain other than ports, are not overly difficult to make non-functional. Even the USAF has realized this and is investing in VTOL technology more than it has done in a couple generations. Also they have taken to practicing using roads for runways.
I caution against overly responding to the recent Armenian/Azerbaijani war as an exemplar. While one must acknowledge that the capability to deal with AD with killer drones and UAV was demonstrated, those systems were not part of an integrated AD network, nor were many of the systems active when they were attacked. Similar circumstances obtain for Libya. Another note that the Israeli's are turning to long range high speed missiles for their activities again the IRGC in Syria because of the presence of an integrated AD and the fact that the competent integrated AD in Syria is no longer willing to give them carte' blanc. Also consider it has been clearly demonstrated that the attempts by Israel's antagonist to infiltrate UAV into their airspace have to date been completely unsuccessful.
The advent of UAV and killer drones have changed the battle calculus, but not turned it over. Nor will it. There are at least two companies who have demonstrated an ability to take out entire swarms of UAV in short order. Directed energies will become the AD challenge in the coming decade.
Finally let us not forget bandwidth. Swarms are great but they use a lot of bandwidth. Most UAV operate in the same bandwidth. Jamming the signal will cause most UAV to orbit or return to their landing location. Most first tier militaries are heavily invested in electronic warfare. Advanced electronic warfare and cyber combat are likely to be more game changing than unmanned flying things.
 
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TomcatViP

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A Sikorsky-Boeing team has submitted its Defiant X rotorcraft proposal “early” for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme.

The bid comes as flight testing continues on the team’s SB-1 Defiant demonstrator, a compound co-axial helicopter upon which the proposed Defiant X is based, the companies said on 7 September. Data already gathered from the SB-1’s flight testing regime was included in the team’s proposal to the US Army.

 

yasotay

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
 

Moose

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
I doubt they'd still be flying if that were the case, it's rather expensive to fly a one-off demonstrator. If there's a ploy here, it's more likely of the "if all they have is our bid to talk about, all they'll talk about is our bid!" sort.
 

yasotay

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
I doubt they'd still be flying if that were the case, it's rather expensive to fly a one-off demonstrator. If there's a ploy here, it's more likely of the "if all they have is our bid to talk about, all they'll talk about is our bid!" sort.
Don't disagree, but they have not demonstrated a number of the primary mission parameters (low speed agility I think is a big one I have not heard about from them), so it is conjecture if they can do it. Now if they are still flying (?) they may have a plan. Their operational tempo certainly has been lackluster. To your point about having only the one bid; the other side of the coin would be, that the longer the gov has to read your documents the more questions they can come up with and faults they can dream up.
 

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
I doubt they'd still be flying if that were the case, it's rather expensive to fly a one-off demonstrator. If there's a ploy here, it's more likely of the "if all they have is our bid to talk about, all they'll talk about is our bid!" sort.

I actually think I saw on a LinkedIn post that Bell submitted theirs on the same day, and possibly earlier than the Defiant team. I guess they just don't think its a big enough deal to talk about it.
 

yasotay

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
I doubt they'd still be flying if that were the case, it's rather expensive to fly a one-off demonstrator. If there's a ploy here, it's more likely of the "if all they have is our bid to talk about, all they'll talk about is our bid!" sort.

I actually think I saw on a LinkedIn post that Bell submitted theirs on the same day, and possibly earlier than the Defiant team. I guess they just don't think its a big enough deal to talk about it.
That would be interesting. Neither would have been that early since the proposals were due this month I think.
 

F-14D

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Given that many of their performance claims remain conjecture or based on a subscale demonstrator, I have to wonder if the team has "thrown in the towel". I am not sure that an early entry is going to buy them much.
I doubt they'd still be flying if that were the case, it's rather expensive to fly a one-off demonstrator. If there's a ploy here, it's more likely of the "if all they have is our bid to talk about, all they'll talk about is our bid!" sort.

I actually think I saw on a LinkedIn post that Bell submitted theirs on the same day, and possibly earlier than the Defiant team. I guess they just don't think its a big enough deal to talk about it.
That would be interesting. Neither would have been that early since the proposals were due this month I think.
Bids will be accepted through 4th Quarter FY21 which, as you say, is this month. Keep in mind these people put out a press release if they successfully change a tire.
 
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yasotay

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Behind pay wall, but "... The Navy is planning to launch an analysis of alternatives for its future vertical lift program this fall after completing its material development decision by the end of September, a program spokeswoman told Inside Defense Friday. Program spokeswoman Megan Wasel said the Navy will launch a nine-month analysis of alternatives this fall after receiving over 30 responses “ranging from aircraft manufacturers to sub-systems suppliers” to the service’s January request for information for the program. "
 

yasotay

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SIK_Defiant_SEP21.JPG
A bit more resolution on SB>1 Defiant with this picture. Things to note are the appearance of additional air intake on the forward overhead cover (presumably where hydraulics and some electronics are housed) and the ventral exhaust at the back of the aircraft. While it may be an oversight by the graphic artist, the "non-retractable" tail wheel appears ...retracted. Finally while it is only a graphic picture that could be in error, or intentionally misleading, or just the particular angle, but it appears to me that the separation of the main rotors is larger (taller).
 

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