Just a couple of months after being picked to provide the engine for what will potentially be the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), Honeywell Aerospace was again tapped to provide auxiliary power units and the main engine generator for the aircraft.
The latest selection by Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing continues Honeywell’s role in bringing the Defiant X helicopter into military use. The helicopter is currently a contender in the Army’s FLRAA competition, and project officials say it can fly twice as fast and twice as far as the Black Hawk helicopters that have been in use since the late 1970s and that are set to be replaced in 2030.
Honeywell (Nasdaq: HON) in February announced that it was chosen to provide its HTS7500 turboshaft engine for the Defiant X, with two of the engines going in each helicopter. At the time, Honeywell said the project could add 700 new engineering and supply chain jobs in Arizona.
Honeywell will be providing auxiliary power units (APUs) from its GTCP 36-150 series. The new, customized APU version will employ newer compressor technology originally built for use in the commercial aircraft sector.
The APU series delivers compressed air for air conditioning, anti-ice and heating systems, and can power air and shaft systems. Honeywell said more than 20 variations of the unit are in use today, both in the military and in commercial aircraft.
“Our rugged and reliable GTCP 36-150-APU series is an ideal candidate to meet the installation and demanding performance needs of the Defiant X,” David Shilliday, vice president and general manager, Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, said in a statement. “Honeywell has delivered more than 10,000 of these APUs since production started in 1979, and we believe this new, low-risk version will help Team Defiant win the FLRAA competition.”
Honeywell will also provide the engine generator, which provides electricity for the aircraft while it is flying, and the APU generator that provides electricity on the ground.
The Army launched its FLRAA program in 2019 to develop its next generation of capability for the coming decades. The Defiant X is intended to fill that spot, and is currently being tested in a digital combat environment.
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