Military

Next Generation Perigon Flight Control Computer to See First Placement in Defiant X Helicopter

Lockheed Martin Sikorsky Boeing has selected the Collins Aerospace Perigon flight control computer for its Defiant X advanced utility helicopter. (Collins Aerospace)

The next generation Collins Aerospace Perigon flight control computer has received its first airframe selection as it will become a central part of the avionics featured on the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant X advanced utility helicopter.

Defiant X is the co-axial rigid rotor being developed by Sikorsky and Boeing that has been selected as a finalist for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition that aims to find a replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Collins Aerospace first launched Perigon as a next generation vehicle management computer in 2018, and achieved some major program milestones last year with its development by adding AdaCore and Lynx Software Technologies as embedded software and processing suppliers.

Kim Kinsley, vice president and general manager, environmental and airframe control systems for Collins Aerospace, commenting on the selection, said that Perigon's "enhanced processing power will allow it to integrate numerous DEFIANT X functions, including flight control, utility management, prognostic health and advanced flight modes such as autonomy."

Defiant X will also be equipped with an "optionally-piloted flight control system," according to Lockheed's overview of the platform.

Collins Aerospace is developing a next generation flight control computer, Perigon, and expects it to be ready for qualification testing by the end of this year. (Collins Aerospace)

During an interview with Avionics International last year, Darryl Woods, general manager of the flight control systems division of Collins Aerospace, explained how the use of multicore processors, an input/output (I/O) card, and high-speed backplane will give Perigon "20 times the processing power of its existing flight control computers."

Perigon features three dissimilar multicore processors, each capable of individually achieving 1 gigahertz (GHz)—or a billion clock cycles per second—processing power.

In addition to Perigon, Collins will also supply the armored pilot and co-pilot, cabin crew, and troop seats for the Defiant X. The Lockheed Martin Sikorsky Boeing team developing Defiant X has also added the Irvine, California-based division of Parker Aerospace to supply flight controls, while Fort Worth, Texas-based Elbit Systems of America will provide the mission system computer.

Boonton, New Jersey-based Marotta Controls is providing electrical power system components for Defiant X, while the team also previously announced Honeywell Aerospace as the supplier of its new HTS7500 turboshaft engine to power the helicopter.

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