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The Sky’s New Guardian: Unraveling the Secrets of the Ultimate Flying Military Machine!

The events provided a quick look 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.

The S-97 RAIDER, exclusively financed by Sikorsky, is the sole representative FARA aircraft in operation today and offers risk mitigation for Sikorsky’s FARA concept, RAIDER X®, a swift, agile, and durable compound coaxial helicopter that will enable future pilots to tackle evolving peer and near-peer challenges in the most demanding settings.

RAIDER X will fully incorporate Lockheed Martin’s strengths, including digital thread, advanced manufacturing, sustainment, training, and weapon and mission system development, production, and integration. At Sikorsky, the digital thread is integrated into current projects and is being employed today in Sikorsky’s digital advanced manufacturing facility.

This established, comprehensive life-cycle strategy operates smoothly throughout the design, development, production, supply chain, and sustainment processes. Currently, all of Sikorsky’s programs are born in a digital environment.

The power of this digital thread promotes affordability, manufacturability, and dependability across the aircraft’s life span. Besides the FARA competition, Sikorsky and Boeing are proposing the DEFIANT X™ for the Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) contest. With RAIDER X and DEFIANT X, the Army could possess versatile, scalable aircraft with the mission advantage it seeks.

Both FARA and FLRAA are among the Army’s top modernization priorities intended to address near-peer adversaries in the multi-domain operations (MDO) of 2030 and beyond.

On April 13 and 15 at Redstone, Sikorsky’s Christiaan Corry and Bill Fell flew the S-97 RAIDER flight routines that showcased both low-level helicopter maneuverability and the high-speed capability exclusive to Sikorsky’s X2 Technology family of helicopters. Corry previously piloted with the first Army experimental test pilot in the S-97 RAIDER, with more events to follow.

Sikorsky has been flying and evaluating X2 Technology for over a decade, amassing nearly 500 hours on its X2 Technology testbeds and aircraft, including the X2 Technology Demonstrator, RAIDER, and DEFIANT. Sikorsky’s facility in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville houses around 100 employees dedicated to supporting Future Vertical Lift, U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters, and other military aviation programs. Also located in Huntsville is Sikorsky’s RAIDER X Portable Full-Mission Simulator (PFMS). The simulator features a complete cockpit with a wrap-around dome for exterior visuals, which can be updated as the system evolves. In addition to basic flying, the cockpit simulates sensors, weapons, and various tactical environments.

The high-fidelity simulator has welcomed Army aviators, soldiers, and leaders at trade shows and special events across the U.S. since 2018. Moreover, Sikorsky and Boeing have developed a DEFIANT X simulator, permanently situated at the Sikorsky Huntsville facility.

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