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Army aviators ask for more comfort, less workload from future vertical lift teams

Army Futures Command introduced about a dozen soldiers to technology demonstrators for the service?s future vertical lift program last week, giving them an opportunity to provide input prior to the evaluations and fly-offs over the next few years.

The soldiers spent a full day each with Bell?s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft in Arlington, Texas, and Sikorsky-Boeing?s SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The site visits included flying simulators and aircraft familiarizations. Two of the soldiers who participated spoke with Army Times about the experience.

?We?ve never seen anything like it,? said Chief Warrant Officer 2 William Bogert, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

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SB-1 Defiant, AW139 Under Consideration As Coast Guard MH-65 Replacement

Among options eyed by the U.S. Coast Guard for a replacement of the service’s Airbus MH-65 Dolphin–first fielded in 1984–are the SB-1 Defiant prototype under development for the U.S. Army by Boeing and Sikorsky, the Leonardo AW139 , and some variant of the MH-60 by Sikorsky, according to defense industry sources. “Something has to happen by 2024,” said one defense industry source. The Coast Guard has 98 MH-65s in service.

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