Sikorsky just launched the prototype of the RaiderX, a state-of-the-art helicopter developed for the US Army with a futuristic structure and cutting-edge technology that incorporates the best elements of all current attack helicopters.
It is envisioned to be tested in 2023 when its flying capacities will be reviewed by specialists of the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program.
The fastest attack helicopter is almost ready
The RaiderX idea is based on X2 technology, with 2 counter-rotating coaxial rotors on top and a pusher propeller at the rear, which makes it distinctive and sophisticated.
Sikorsky claims that the RaiderX will be the fastest, most maneuverable, and most survivable assault helicopter in history. This helicopter will carry all the technologies developed by Sikorsky in the last decades and is expected to fly at record speeds over 250 knots.
Based on Sikorsky’s past developments, it’s almost a certainty that the RaiderX will be the fastest helicopter ever made because the Raider S-97, an experimental X2 helicopter, reached 240 knots or 280 mph, and considering the new engineering advances, it’s very likely to break this speed record in a few years.
It’ll be so quick that a legendary helicopter such as the UH-60 Blackhawk will look slow with its maximum speed of 159 knots or 183 mph, considerably less than the future Raider X.
Developed by Sikorsky’s Advancing Blade Concept program, the twin rotors significantly increase the maneuverability of conventional helicopters with increasing speed. This is a huge advance in engineering, and the US Armed Forces will leverage these capabilities soon. Experts affirm that the RaiderX will have a range, payload, and fuel efficiency superior to any current helicopter while performing under the same operational spaces.
At the moment, it is only a prototype but Sikorsky’s RaiderX is foreseen to have an outstanding performance featuring its X2 rigid rotor that provides highly responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, and incredible speed.
This power and maneuverability will provide the Raider X capacities we haven’t seen, and it’ll be the fastest and most survivable assault helicopter worldwide.
The Raider X will be proficient at evading battlefield threats and will be fully equipped for the most demanding environments. Also, it will be capable of carrying drones, easily finding enemy troops, and carrying missiles to support the ground troops.
Similarly, a helicopter with so many technological advances is expected to perform effectively in the most complicated situations such as enabling the pilot to fly low in difficult terrains, landing quickly, and exiting dangerous situations instantly.
Best of all, it is conceived to lower operational costs by leveraging disruptive technologies and increase the cost-effectiveness of routine maintenance with automatic checking. It will make sure the US Army can use this new helicopter for many years and keep investing and improving its capabilities in the long term.
The future coaxial helicopter Raider X: ‘The X2 rigid rotor provides increased performance such as highly responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking.’ @MASAOMORITR @MikkelsenDean pic.twitter.com/hPfRSr0kA0— Felix Woessner (@FeWoessner) February 22, 2021
- Crew: 2
- Main rotor diameter: 2 rotors of 39 feet
- Powerplant: 1 General Electric T901 turboshaft
- Maximum speed: 250 knots (460 km/h; 290 mph)
- Probable weight: 14,000 pounds
The RaiderX will probably be the fastest helicopter ever created!
The next-generation RAIDER X leverages all of Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky experience in developing high-tech, though it is too early to say how good it will be in real combat situations.
But as soon as it is officially launched, we will probably see it in action as it seems to be one of the most reliable war machines in the future. It has the best attributes of all previous combat helicopters: great firepower, and unmatched speed, and will surely leave a legacy that will take decades to match.