Joint Heavy Lift flying Crane, (JHL) and High Speed Lifter (HSL) helicopter, are proposed as tactical heavy lifters for the FCS family of vehicles. Both the JHL crane and high speed heavy lifter will be able to lift around 40,000 lbs (18.1 metric tons). The crane will be designed to carry external stores, utilizing a four point witch external load handling system flying at a top speed of 165 kts (305 km/h). The High Speed Lifter will be able to carry the same weight internally, flying at speed of up to 245 kts (453 km/h).
The helicopter will be slightly longer than a C-130 Hercules, and have a cargo bay capable of loading seven standard 463L pallets, a loaded HEMTT truck, a fully equipped armored gun system or two combat ready Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs). It will also have single, dual and triple cargo hooks for sling loading.
Both JHL and HSL will be powered by the X2 coaxial rotor system developed by Sikorsky Aircraft. They will be capable of hovering, takeoff and land vertically, maneuver at low speeds, and transition seamlessly from hover to forward flight like a helicopter. In a high-speed configuration, one or more ‘pusher props’ is included in an integrated auxiliary propulsion system to enable high speed with no need to physically reconfigure the aircraft in flight.
In September 2005 Sikorsky Aircraft has been awarded two US government contracts to perform conceptual, preliminary design for two X2 Technology heavy-lift coaxial rotorcraft. The Concept Design and Analysis (CDA) awards from the U.S. Army’s Applied Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) are in direct support of evaluating joint requirements and Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) rotorcraft for the U.S. armed forces.