Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company
Stratford, CT
203-386-4000
www.lockheedmartin.com

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, recently introduced RAIDER XTM, its concept for an agile, lethal and survivable compound coaxial helicopter, specifically designed for securing vertical lift dominance against evolving peer and near-peer threats on the future battlefield. Through the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, RAIDER X is the out-front platform in the Army’s revolutionary approach for rapid development and delivery of game changing technology and warfighter capabilities, equipped for the most demanding and contested environments. RAIDER X enables the reach, protection and lethality required to remain victorious in future conflicts.

Sikorsky’s RAIDER X prototype offers a number of advanced features. In terms of performance, the X2 rigid rotor provides increased performance in areas such as highly responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking. State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky production programs such as CH-53K, CH-148 and F-35, which will enable the Army to not only lower the acquisition cost, but enable rapid, affordable upgrades to stay ahead of the evolving threat.

Modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems offer “plug-and-play” options for computing, sensors, survivability and weapons, which will benefit lethality and survivability, operational mission tailoring and competitive acquisitions. The RAIDER X has also been designed to decrease aircraft operating costs by utilizing new technologies to shift from routine maintenance and inspections to self-monitoring and condition-based maintenance designed to increase aircraft availability, reduce sustainment footprint forward and enable flexible maintenance operating periods.

Finally, the RAIDER X has been designed with an eye on growth/mission flexibility. Focused on the future and ever evolving threat capabilities, X2 compound coaxial technology provides added potential and growth margin for increased speed, combat radius and payload. This potential and growth margin will further enable operational mission flexibility, including a broader range of aircraft configurations and loadouts to accommodate specific mission requirements.

The RAIDER X represents Sikorsky's latest design in its X2 family of aircraft. To date, X2 aircraft have achieved/demonstrated: speeds in excess of 250 knots; high-altitude operations in excess of 9,000 feet; low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank; ADS-33B (Aeronautical Design Standard) Level 1 handling qualities with multiple pilots; and flight controls optimization and vibration mitigation.

To date, the development of X2 Technology and the RAIDER program has been funded entirely by significant investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and industry partners.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2020 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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