Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sikorsky says future fast-attack helicopter 85% complete

The Sikorsky Raider X prototype, the company’s pitch for the U.S. Army Future Attack Recon Aircraft (FARA), is more than 85 percent complete.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is making significant progress on RAIDER X, progressing 50 percent faster through production and assembly compared to legacy programs and resulting in a cost-effective, transformational aircraft.

As noted by the company, RAIDER X, which Sikorsky has begun powering on, has accomplished nearly 50 percent of required System Acceptance Test procedures.

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Sikorsky X2™ technology underpins the RAIDER X design. The compound coaxial technology of X2 provides unmatched potential and growth margin for increased speed, combat radius and payload. This enables a broader range of aircraft configurations for specific mission requirements.

“Our transformational RAIDER X will deliver broad benefits to the Army including the lowest schedule risk and greatest technical maturity of the FARA competitors,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “With X2 Technology, RAIDER X has the ability to grow, unlike a single-main rotor configuration. We’re looking to the future and we are committed to helping the Army deter threats and defend freedoms well into the 21st century.”

In addition, the build of Sikorsky’s second FARA fuselage is now complete. This fuselage is being integrated into Sikorsky’s structural test program and will be used to validate the flight and ground loads capability of the airframe. These tests support the RAIDER X CP flight safety program and provide data to optimize and accelerate the design for the full weapons system.

“We took an innovative approach with our second CP fuselage,” said Sikorsky FARA Chief Engineer Pete Germanowski. “The second fuselage has not only increased the efficiency of the build and test of our first CP aircraft, it gives us the option to build it out as a second CP aircraft, providing us with more flexibility and greater risk reduction.”

RAIDER X features Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems offering “plug-and-play” options for computing, sensors, survivability and weapons. X2 compound coaxial technology provides unmatched potential and growth margin for increased speed, combat radius and payload. This enables a broader range of aircraft configurations for specific mission requirements.

“The FARA mission requires operational flexibility, and RAIDER X provides that operational flexibility the Army needs including speed where it matters, a large multi-functional weapons bay and unprecedented acceleration and deceleration capability,” said Jay Macklin, Sikorsky business development director. “RAIDER X is the most agile, lethal and survivable aircraft, designed for vertical lift dominance against evolving threats of the future.”

The FARA weapon system is designed to restore attack reconnaissance dominance with sweeping improvements in lethality, agility, reach, survivability, and sustainability to provide capability and flexibility to future commanders. FARA will mitigate enemy long-range capabilities through increased reach allowing the commander to fight and operate from relative sanctuary while delivering lethal effects outside enemy sensor/weapons range. FARA must operate in complex and dense urban, mountainous, desert, jungle and maritime environments.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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