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  • Sikorsky S-97 Raider Concept Light / Attack Helicopter

    The Sikorsky S-97 Raider, based on the impressive X-2 Technology Demonstrator, is in contention for the US Army Armed Aerial Scout helicopter program.

     Updated: 5/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    While helicopters have evolved since their mainstream inception in the 1950s, the "rotorcraft" has remained largely conventional and true to its roots. With the advent of the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program - intended to replace venerable Bell OH-58 Kiowa series - Sikorsky has responded with its S-97 "Raider" compound rotor concept. The S-97 incorporates a coaxial main rotor configuration, each mounting four blade assemblies, as well as a six-bladed "pusher" propeller in the tail to achieve stated program goals. The Sikorsky S-97 development is based on its award-winning "X-2" technology demonstrator and, in a militarized form, will be capable of strike, troop transport and fast reconnaissance sorties on the modern battlefield. The Sikorsky product includes a bevy of industry names including Northrop Grumman, BAe Systems, Honeywell, Garmin, Goodrich, Esterline, Kamatics, Hamilton Sundstrand and Ametek among others.

    The US Army revealed its AAS program in March of 2010 to which Sikorsky reacted with their S-97 program in October. Prior to the announcement, Sikorsky garnered a great deal of data from its one-off, two-seat X-2 prototype serving as a technology demonstrator and powered by a single LHTEC T800-LHT-801 series turboshaft engine of 1,300shp to 1,800shp output. First flight of the type was recorded on August 27th, 2008 with evaluations running until July 14th, 2011 to which the aircraft has since been retired from operation. The X-2 concept proved high-speed coaxial rotor flight as a sound viable propulsion method for helicopters and recorded a maximum speed of 299 miles per hour (an unofficial record for a compound helicopter) with cruise speeds at 288mph (250 knots) while sporting an efficient operational range of 808 miles on internal fuel stores. On May 4th, 2009, a Light Tactical Helicopter mock-up was showcased based on the X-2 technology.

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    Sikorsky S-97 Raider Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 2020
    Type: Concept Light / Attack Helicopter
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Sikorksy Aircraft - USA
    Production Total: 2

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Weight (Empty): 8,951 lb (4,060 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 11,023 lb (5,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x General Electric T700 turboshaft engine driving 2 x four-bladed coaxial main rotors and a six-bladed tail rotor in pusher configuration.

    Maximum Speed: 253 mph (407 kph; 220 knots)
    Maximum Range: 354 miles (570 km)
    Service Ceiling: 10,007 feet (3,050 meters; 1.90 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    PROPOSED (on external fuselage wingstubs):
    Machine Gun Pods (7.62mm or 12.7mm)
    Rocket Pods (2.75")
    Hellfire Anti-Tank Missiles

    Global Operators / Customers

    United States (possible)

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    S-97 "Raider" - Sikorsky company designation; based on the X-2 concept.

    MH-97 - Proposed troop assault transport for Special Operations forces.

    AH-97 - Proposed reconnaissance light attack platform.

    SH-97 - Proposed Search and Rescue (SAR) variant.

    RQ-97 - Proposed Autonomous Reconnaissance Attack variant (unmanned).