Oct. 4 (UPI) — The Sikorsky S-97 Raider light prototype helicopter has completed much of it’s testing, and recently exceeded 200 knots, or 230 mph, at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center.
The program is based on X2 technology that enables helicopters to achieve speeds twice what a conventional helicopter can operate at, according to Sikorsky.
“The Sikorsky S-97 Raider flight test program is exceeding expectations, demonstrating Raider’s revolutionary speed, maneuverability and agility,” Tim Malia, director of future vertical lift light at Sikorsky, said in a statement.
“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,” Malia said.
X2 is part of the company’s preparations for its proposal for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. Sikorsky says it will aid the Army’s efforts for a future aircraft fleet as part of the Future Vertical Lift program.
Future Vertical Lift involves the development of up to five different sizes of aircraft. It is meant to replace
the UH-60 Blackhawk transport helicopter, AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter and OH-58 Kiowa light reconnaissance helicopter.
The program has been conducted since 2004. The overall plan involves the replacement of most of the U.S. and allied helicopter fleet.