Yesterday, Sikorsky introduced its entry into the competition for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, the Raider X. The coaxial, compound helicopter borrows heavily from Sikorsky’s S-97 “Raider” demonstrator and features X2 technology that includes a rigid, coaxial main rotor, aft propulsor, and fly-by-wire flight controls.
Performance targets include high-speed cruise 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, flight control optimization, and vibration mitigation.
Aircraft features include the rigid rotor that provides increased performance including responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking; digital design and manufacturing that lowers acquisition costs and speeds upgrades; modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems with "plug-and-play" options for computing, sensors, survivability and weapons; self-monitoring and condition-based maintenance to reduce routine maintenance and inspections; and growth margins for increased speed, combat radius and payload.
"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," said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. "The X2 technology family of aircraft is a low-risk solution and is scalable based on our customers' requirements."