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Sikorsky unveils S-97 Raider prototype

October 3, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

s97_rolloutOct. 3, 2014, West Palm Beach, Fla. - Sikorsky Aircraft recently unveiled the first of two S-97 RAIDERT helicopter prototypes, 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.

"Today, Sikorsky
unveiled the next generation of military rotorcraft, with capabilities
and performance never seen before in our industry," said Sikorsky
President Mick Maurer. "Just four years ago, we announced plans to build
the S-97 RAIDER and teamed
with some of the best companies in the industry, understanding the need
to ensure aircraft development would not falter as government defense
budgets shrank in response to economic pressures. Sikorsky is proud of
its leadership in this area, and of the leadership the S-97 RAIDER
represents among the world's military rotorcraft."

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.

rotorcraft fleets need maximum performance and increased capabilities
to achieve their objectives," Maurer added. "The RAIDER delivers on that
with its greatly improved maneuverability and speed, significantly
improved high/hot hover performance, and greater range and endurance."


single-engine RAIDER features a composite airframe and a maximum gross
weight of slightly more than 11,000 lbs. The aircraft will be capable of
carrying an array of weapons and sensors, necessary for the mission.
The cockpit will fit two pilots, seated side-by-side. The flexible cabin
space will carry up to six combat-equipped troops, or additional fuel
and ammunition for extended missions.

"RAIDER marks the first
unveiling of a new relevant rotorcraft configuration in 30 years," said
Mark Miller, Vice President of Research & Engineering. "With the
RAIDER program, Sikorsky has brought innovation to every aspect of the
process, rethinking the way we design, build, test and support the
product. We've kept a close eye on lowering development, production and
support costs while increasing productivity and quality, and we are
confident that the RAIDER is the solution for the future warfighter. We
are looking forward to getting air under its tires and expanding the
envelope in flight test in the coming months."

helicopter program is 100 percent industry funded. Sikorsky provides 75
percent of the investment, and 53 principal suppliers provide the
remaining funding.


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