Raider Χ | US Army FARA Futuristic Helicopter
Defence Redefined
Published on 21/06/2021 at 15:40

The S-97 RAIDER, funded exclusively by Sikorsky (a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin) is the only aircraft in the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program of the USA which has been manufactured and tested.

The helicopter in question is a test prototype to provide risk mitigation in the RAIDER X® program, with which the company participates in FARA. According to company executives, RAIDER is also used for data mining and for the DEFIANT X program, in which Sikorsky and Boeing participate as part of the Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition in the USA. 

Also read: Lockheed Martin | SB>1 Defiant – Surpassing the top speed of the legendary Black Hawk with 205 Knots-VIDEOS

The RAIDER X, according to the company, is a fast, agile, coaxial helicopter with high survivability that allows pilots to face future threats even in the most difficult operational scenarios. 

“From the first Black Hawk in the skies back in the 1970s to 2010, when our teams broke X2 technology helicopter speed records, we have worked with our Army partners to develop and deliver innovative low-risk aircraft, which are affordable and sustainable in support missions of fighters in conflict,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo.

RAIDER X will fully incorporate Lockheed Martin’s strengths, such as digital thread, advanced construction, support, training, and development as well as construction and integration of weapon systems. 

RAIDER X Main Features

  • Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) for electronic and electrical systems (avionics) as well as missile systems
  • Plug-and-play capability for computers, sensors, survivability systems, and armaments, according to mission requirements
  • “Fly by Wire” allowing future autonomous flights
  • Advanced coaxial propellers made of synthetic and resistant materials 
  • Tail rotor clutch for enhanced maneuverability 
  • Retractable landing gear (inside the fuselage) for greater speeds
  • Spindle made of synthetic materials
  • Folding reinforcement pillars (inside the fuselage)
  • Speed: Estimated to exceed 400 km/h
  • Armament: Not officially announced. It is believed to be a combination of guided anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles, rockets, and machine guns

Both the FARA and FLRAA programs are among the top modernization priorities of the US Army for tackling threats in the Multi-Domain Operations environment (MDO) of 2030 and beyond. In March 2020, the US Army selected the Raider X and the Bell 360 Invictus from among five candidates. The completion of the prototypes is scheduled for 2023.

* Photos: © Lockheed Martin

Also read: Sikorsky and DARPA test Black Hawk in autonomous flight – VIDEO





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