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Sikorsky S-97 Raider flies two US Army FARA demonstrations

16 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 16th, 2021 13:31)

Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider helicopter prototype has flown two demonstrations for the US Army future attack reconnaissance aircraft (FARA) programme.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider flies two US Army FARA demonstrations
Sikorsky has been flying and testing X2 Technology for more than a decade now. Credit: Photo courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company.

Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider helicopter prototype has flown two demonstrations for the US Army future attack reconnaissance aircraft (FARA) programme.

The demonstrations were held at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, US.

During the flights, the helicopter showcased its low-level manoeuvrability and high-speed capability.

The S-97 Raider is a light tactical helicopter developed to demonstrate the capabilities of the company’s X2 Technology.

Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo said: “Since the first Black Hawk took to the skies in the 1970s, to when our teams broke helicopter speed records with X2 Technology in 2010, we have been working with our army partners to develop and deliver low-risk, transformational, affordable and sustainable aircraft to support the warfighters’ missions.

“This is the first of what we believe will be many times our X2 Future Vertical Lift aircraft will fly at Redstone.”

The fast survivable compound coaxial helicopter is designed to allow future pilots to tackle evolving threats in complex battlefield environments.

The X2 Technology enables the Sikorsky S-97 Raider aircraft to travel at speeds double that of conventional helicopters while ensuring enhanced efficiency and safety.

Lockheed Martin Army programmes vice-president Kevin Mangum said: “Through this week’s Raider flight and our ongoing test programme with DEFIANT, we are demonstrating the future of army aviation.

“With Raider X, we will fill a critical army capability gap, providing the speed, reach, lethality and convergence to fight and win on the MDO battlefield, today and into the future.”

In October 2018, S-97 Raider exceeded 200k during its flight test demonstration at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center.