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Beyond Imagination: The Incredible Flying Goliath Set to Transform the Battlefield!

The events provided a quick look at Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, competing for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, which is part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative to revolutionize its aircraft fleet. Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin Company.

The S-97 RAIDER, exclusively funded by Sikorsky, is the sole representative FARA aircraft in operation today, and it offers risk reduction for Sikorsky’s FARA concept, RAIDER X®, a swift, agile, and resilient compound coaxial helicopter that will enable future pilots to confront evolving peer and near-peer threats in the most challenging environments.

RAIDER X will fully incorporate Lockheed Martin’s strengths, such as digital thread, advanced manufacturing, maintenance, training, and weapon and mission system development, production, and integration. At Sikorsky, the digital thread is already incorporated into current programs and is in use at Sikorsky’s digital advanced manufacturing facility.

This proven, comprehensive life-cycle approach flows smoothly throughout the design, development, production, supply chain, and maintenance process. Nowadays, all Sikorsky’s programs originate in a digital environment.

The potency of this digital thread fosters affordability, manufacturability, and reliability across the aircraft’s life cycle. In addition to 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 a common, 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 threats in the multi-domain operations (MDO) of 2030 and beyond.

On April 13 and 15 at Redstone, Sikorsky’s Christiaan Corry and Bill Fell piloted 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 had previously flown with the first Army experimental test pilot in the S-97 RAIDER, with more events to follow.

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

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

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