Sikorsky unveils Raider X light attack compound coaxial helicopter
Sikorsky has debuted its Raider X light attack reconnaissance helicopter concept. At the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington DC, the Lockheed-Martin-owned company took the wraps off its entrant in the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program, which is also being contested by Bell, AVX Aircraft, Boeing, and Karem Aircraft.
Like the other competitors, the purpose of the Raider X is to provide the US Army with a light combat helicopter for recon missions and to escort the insertion of special forces behind enemy lines. Based on Sikorsky's X2 demonstrator helicopter, the Raider X is a coaxial rotorcraft with counter-rotating fixed rotors and a stern-mounted push propeller.
If its performance is anything like the X2, the Raider X will reach speeds of over 250 knots (288 mph, 463 km/h) and operate at altitudes of over 9,000 ft (2,743 m). It will have low- and high-speed maneuvering envelopes out to more than 60° angle of bank and enhanced low-speed hover and acceleration capabilities.
According to Lockheed, the Raider X draws on production practices of the CH-53K, CH-148, and F-35 to keep down costs and features a design that is easy to upgrade to meet new threats. Its Modern Open Systems Architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems provide increased flexibility and survivability for sensors and weapons due to plug-and-play layouts, and marks a shift to self-monitoring to reduce routine maintenance.
"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," says 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."
Source: Lockheed Martin