The Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER light tactical prototype helicopter is advancing rapidly through its flight test schedule, recently exceeding 200 knots at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center. RAIDER, developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is based on the company's proven X2 Technology.
"The Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER flight test programme is exceeding expectations, demonstrating RAIDER's revolutionary speed, maneuverability and agility," said Tim Malia, Sikorsky director, Future Vertical Lift Light. "X2 Technology represents a suite of technologies needed for the future fight, enabling the warfighter to engage in high-intensity conflict anytime, anywhere as a member of a complex, multi-domain team." Sikorsky continues to demonstrate the application of its X2 Technology as the company prepares its proposal for the US Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition, driving forward the army's efforts to revolutionise its aircraft fleet as part of what is known as Future Vertical Lift.
RAIDER incorporates the latest advances in fly-by-wire flight controls, vehicle management systems and systems integration. The suite of X2 Technologies enables the aircraft to operate at high speeds while maintaining the low-speed handling qualities and manoeuverability of conventional single main rotor helicopters. Sikorsky's X2 Technology at the heart of the RAIDER helicopter is scalable to a variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue and unmanned applications. The development of X2 Technology and the RAIDER programme has been funded entirely by significant investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and industry partners.