HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Flying low,
fast and expertly executing crisp, tight, quick maneuvers that only
Sikorsky's X2 Technology™ family of helicopters brings, the
Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER® helicopter flew two demonstrations
before Army officials and Soldiers at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama this week. The events
offered a glimpse at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company's bid for
the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, part of
the U.S. Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort to
revolutionize its aircraft fleet. Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin
Company (NYSE: LMT).
View the video.
The S-97 RAIDER, solely funded by Sikorsky is the only
representative FARA aircraft flying today and provides risk
reduction for Sikorsky's FARA concept, RAIDER X®, a fast,
agile, survivable compound coaxial helicopter that will allow
future aviators to address evolving peer and near-peer threats in
the most difficult environments.
"Since the first Black Hawk took to the skies in the 1970s, to
when our teams broke helicopter speed records with X2 Technology in
2010, we have been working with our Army partners to develop and
deliver low-risk, transformational, affordable and sustainable
aircraft to support the warfighters' missions," said Sikorsky
President Paul Lemmo, who was at
Redstone this week. "This is the first of what we believe will be
many times our X2 Future Vertical Lift aircraft will fly at
RAIDER X will fully integrate the strengths of Lockheed Martin
such as digital thread, advanced manufacturing, sustainment,
training, and weapon and mission system development, manufacture
and integration. At Sikorsky, the digital thread is built into
current programs and is being utilized today in our digital
advanced manufacturing facility. This proven, holistic life-cycle
approach runs seamlessly throughout the design, development,
production, supply chain and sustainment process. Today, all of
Sikorsky's programs are born in a digital environment. The power of
this digital thread drives affordability, producibility and
reliability across the aircraft lifecycle.
In addition to the FARA competition, Sikorsky and partner Boeing
are offering the DEFIANT X™ for the Army's Future Long-Range
Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition. With RAIDER X and DEFIANT X,
the Army could have common, scalable aircraft with the mission
advantage the Army is looking for. Both FARA and FLRAA are
among the Army's top modernization priorities meant to address
near-peer threats in the multi-domain operations (MDO) of 2030 and
"Through this week's RAIDER flight and our ongoing test program
with DEFIANT, we are demonstrating the future of Army Aviation,"
said Kevin Mangum, Lockheed Martin
vice president, Army programs.
"With RAIDER X, we will fill a critical Army capability gap,
providing the speed, reach, lethality and convergence to fight and
win on the MDO battlefield, today and into the future. DEFIANT X
will be the world's best assault aircraft – like our great Black
Hawk – for decades to come. Our X2-designed aircraft provide
commonality – in parts, systems, maintenance and training. And,
DEFIANT X has the same operational footprint as the Black Hawk,
reducing the Army's total cost of ownership by eliminating any
modifications to existing facilities."
Flight Demonstrations Highlight Maneuverability and Speed
Where it Matters
On April 13 and 15 at Redstone,
Sikorsky's Christiaan Corry and
Bill Fell piloted the S-97 RAIDER
flight routines that highlighted both low-level helicopter
maneuverability and the high-speed capability that only Sikorsky's
X2 Technology family of helicopters offers. Corry previously
flew with the first Army experimental test pilot in S-97 RAIDER,
with additional events to come.
"Flying RAIDER continues to amaze me," said Corry, a former U.S.
Marine with more than 4,500 flight hours in 25 types of aircraft
including the CH-53E, CH-53K and others. "The combination of the
coaxial rotors and the propulsor are really the enablers for this
transformational technology. As we demonstrated today, in low-speed
flight we are as capable as a conventional helicopter, but when we
engage the prop, we are able to operate in a whole new way – it's
much more like flying an airplane."
"RAIDER is a tremendous risk reduction vehicle for RAIDER X and
DEFIANT X and enables us to make data-driven design decisions for
both aircraft," said Fell, a retired Master Army Aviator and former
Army experimental test pilot. "Every time we fly, we are learning
something that goes right into RAIDER X and DEFIANT X."
Sikorsky has been flying and testing X2 Technology for more than
a decade, accumulating nearly 500 hours on its X2 Technology test
beds and aircraft including the X2 Technology Demonstrator, RAIDER
Sustaining the Future Fleet Using Tools Proven Today
Also while at Redstone, Sikorsky discussed its approach to
mission and weapons systems integration, manufacturing and
For example, its FVL aircraft will have much more actionable
maintenance data, providing commanders with information to
accurately assess the health state of the weapon systems as well as
the ability to self-diagnose maintenance and predict aircraft
availability. That increases the operational readiness and
availability and reduces life cycle costs associated with
With Sikorsky's Fleet Decision Tool, commanders can aggregate
data from individual aircraft based on operational requirements,
aircraft health assessment and maintenance flow to ensure they're
optimizing readiness and aircraft availability across the
"This means that I, as a commander, could look at my aircraft
battalion and understand the health of each one of the aircraft and
prioritize the right aircraft for the next mission," Mangum said.
"This positions us to meet the Army's Maintenance-Free Operating
Periods in which RAIDER X and DEFIANT X helicopters could operate
without the need for service for an extended period of time."
Operations in Huntsville
in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville
houses about 100 employees dedicated to supporting Future Vertical
Lift, U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters and other military aviation
Also located in Huntsville is
Sikorsky's RAIDER X Portable Full-Mission Simulator (PFMS). The
simulator consists of a full cockpit with a wrap-around dome for
out-the-window visuals which can be updated as the system matures.
In addition to the basic flying, the cockpit simulates sensors,
weapons and a variety of tactical environments. The high-fidelity
simulator has welcomed Army aviators, Soldiers and leaders at
tradeshows and special events around the U.S. since 2018.
In addition, Sikorsky and Boeing have developed a DEFIANT X
simulator, which is permanently located at the Sikorsky Huntsville
facility. The DEFIANT X simulator will allow Army aviators, Solider
and leaders to experience the unique flight characteristics
provided by X2 Technology as well as experiencing the mission
system approach to the FLRAA mission.
Learn more at our Future Vertical Lift webpage:
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda,
Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security
and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people
worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced
technology systems, products and services.
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announcements and news across the corporation.
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin Corporation