Lockheed Martin has released a new video showing one of its two S-97 Raider prototype attack helicopters strutting its aerial stuff. Based on the remarkably fast X2 technology demonstrator with its co-axial rotor and push propeller design, the Raider is being developed by Lockheed subsidiary Sikorsky as part of an independent bid to provide the US armed forces with their next generation of combat rotorcraft.

The release of the two and a half minute video comes within a week of Lockheed presenting its Future Vertical Lift concept helicopter, which is also a derivation of the scalable X2 technology that uses stiff composite co-axial, contra-rotating blades and a push propeller. The video shows the test aircraft in its black livery carrying out hovering; low speed, low altitude maneuvers; retracting its undercarriage; using its push prop to rapidly accelerate; and making a high-speed fly past. Interspersed with this were brief CGI clips showing the aircraft in full mission configuration.

Lockheed says the S-97 Raider prototype represents the next-generation light tactical helicopter. It's designed to operate "high and hot" at temperatures of 95° F (35° C) and altitudes of 10,000 ft (3,048 m). The fly-by-wire rotorcraft boasts a low acoustic signature, improved hovering capability, and an internal auxiliary fuel tank to extend mission range to 354 mi (570 km).

With a crew of two, the raider can carry six passengers and is capable of in-air refueling. Its General Electric YT706 2,600 bhp (1,900 kW) turbine power plant gives it a takeoff weight with payload of 11,000 lb (4,990 kg), a cruising speed of 220 kn (253 mph, 407 km/h), and a flight endurance of almost three hours. Armament includes seven-round rocket pods with Hellfire missiles and 2.75 in rockets, a .50 caliber machine gun with 500 rounds, and a 7.62 mm gun.

Lockheed says that the X2 technology can also be adapted for light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned aircraft. The company hopes that it will one day see service with not only the US Army and Special Operations, but the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps.

The speed and maneuverability of the S-97 Raider is showcased in the video below.

Source: Lockheed Martin
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