Sikorsky has introduced the Raider X concept into a US Army competition to develop a future attack and reconnaissance helicopter.
The co-axial helicopter is based on technology developed for the company’s X2 family of aircraft, which offers: speeds in excess of 250 knots, high altitude operations in excess of 9,000 feet, low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank, ADS-33B (Aeronautical Design Standard) Level 1 handling qualities with multiple pilots, optimised flight controls and vibration mitigation.
Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems said, “Raider X converges everything we’ve learned in years of developing, testing and refining X2 Technology and delivers warfighters a dominant, survivable and intelligent system that will excel in tomorrow’s battlespace where aviation overmatch is critical.
“The X2 Technology family of aircraft is a low-risk solution and is scalable based on our customers’ requirements.”
The Raider X is being proposed for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program and is being developed using digital design and manufacturing techniques, said Sikorsy.
“The X2 combines the best elements of low-speed helicopter performance with the cruise performance of an airplane,” said Sikorsky experimental test pilot Bill Fell, a retired Army pilot who has flown nearly every Raider test flight. “Every flight we take in our S-97 RAIDER today reduces risk and optimizes our FARA prototype, Raider X.”
The development of X2 Technology and the Raider program has been funded entirely by significant investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and industry partners.
Watch a promo video, including footage of a Raider X test flight, below.