October 3, 2014
Sikorsky unveils S-97 RAIDER helicopter
Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled the first of two S-97 RAIDER helicopter prototypes on October 2nd, signaling the start of activities in the program’s test flight phase and a major step toward demonstrating the new – and first – armed reconnaissance rotorcraft featuring X2 Technology designed for military missions. Based on Sikorsky’s rigid X2 rotor coaxial design, the S-97 RAIDER helicopter features next-generation technologies in a multi-mission configuration (armed aerial scout or light assault), capable of carrying six troops and external weapons. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller provide cruise speeds up to 220 knots (253 mph), more than double the speed of conventional helicopters. Sikorsky will offer the RAIDER aircraft as a replacement for the U.S. Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fleet based on the Army’s future operational and financial priorities, and for the special operations platform.