Future Vertical Lift

The Future of Vertical Lift

The Future Vertical Lift program will re-define the U.S. military’s helicopter fleet for decades to come.


Preparing the way forward

The Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, led by the U.S. Army with joint service participation, is expected to replace the entire U.S. military helicopter fleet beginning in the 2030s. The program focuses on developing the capabilities critical for multi-mission success across the services.

The U.S. government is expected to release their first Request for Proposal for a medium-class helicopter (Capability Set 3) in 2019. And Boeing and partner Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company, stand ready to lead the way.

As a precursor for FVL, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) selected two industry partners to build and fly a medium-class, joint multi-role technology demonstrator. As industry leaders with rich traditions of performance and expertise on proven, established programs, Boeing and Sikorsky’s partnership will deliver unmatched capabilities and commitment toward future medium-class helicopters.

SB>1 DEFIANT™ leads the way

Together Boeing and Sikorsky are working with AMRDEC on the SB>1 DEFIANT™ technology demonstrator. Integrating revolutionary technology, the demonstrator provides:

  • X2 the speed and distance of conventional helicopters/today’s helicopters
  • Unparalleled agility and maneuverability
  • A step-function reduction in operation and sustainment costs
  • Critical risk reduction to scale and tailor a helicopter sized to meet our customers’ needs


2013 – Sikorsky and Boeing Partnership

2014 – SB>1 DEFIANT™ receives JMR TD Contract

2016 - SB>1 DEFIANT™ Critical Design Release

2018 – SB>1 DEFIANT™ first flight

2019 – Expected FVL Capability Set 3 Technical Maturation and Risk Reduction RFP released

2025 – Expected FVL-Capability Set 3 Engineering Manufacturing and Development contract award



Dating back 55 years, Boeing has developed strong rotorcraft partnerships with the U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force as well as more than 20 global customers. Together, Boeing and our customers have developed the world’s most advanced helicopters to accomplish the most challenging missions, like the AH-64 Apache, V-22 Osprey and CH-47 Chinook.

As part of FVL, Boeing is working with those customers to determine the revolutionary capabilities critical toward successful missions in the future.

The U.S. Army and Marines have expressed interest in beginning the FVL program with a medium-class, assault helicopter, which would replace more than 2,000 helicopters beginning in the 2030s. As a precursor, the Sikorsky-Boeing team has partnered with AMRDEC to build and fly the SB>1 DEFIANT™ joint multi-role technology demonstrator.