Army Leadership Sees X2 Technology™ Take Flight

Imagine a dark and stormy night: three aircraft are flying in formation at high speed, they are close to the ground and the environment is contested as they aim to reach the mission objective.

The aircraft you are visualizing will need to be fast, maneuverable, agile and smart. These aircraft will need X2 Technology™.

Sikorsky has worked to address this demanding mission by rethinking the idea of a traditional helicopter and today has two aircraft in flight test supporting the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift mission.

On February 20, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy along with other Army leadership had the chance to see the S-97 RAIDER® and SB>1 DEFIANT™ in action.

Senator Tammy Duckworth and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy

Senator Tammy Duckworth and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy

“As an alpha-model Black Hawk pilot, I was salivating out there on the flight line.” ~ Senator Tammy Duckworth

The S-97 RAIDER is the only representative aircraft flying today for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program. RAIDER is designed to meet the Army’s armed aerial scout role and is providing risk reduction for Sikorsky’s FARA concept, RAIDER X. This helicopter will fully integrate the strengths of Lockheed Martin from digital design to training to weapons and missions systems. 
S-97 RAIDER®

S-97 RAIDER® 

“We’re flying it before we’re buying it ... There’s nothing better than putting hours against the platform and learning.” ~ Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy

Sikorsky is partnered with Boeing on the SB>1 DEFIANT in order to meet the demands of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program. The two companies’ deep engineering expertise and broad knowledge of the Army’s aviation mission have been critical in the design and test of the third generation X2 aircraft.

DEFIANT is highly maneuverable and will extend the Army’s mission the modern battlefield – and fits in the same footprint as a Black Hawk.

Following the flight demonstration Sen. Duckworth praised DEFIANT, saying “as an alpha-model Black Hawk pilot, I was salivating out there on the flight line.”

SB>1 DEFIANT™ in action

SB>1 DEFIANT™ in action

X2 Technology is scalable and has proven in flight test that it can deliver the mission advantage the Army is looking for. The increased speed and maneuverability demonstrated by RAIDER and DEFIANT will provide warfighting commanders a battlefield advantage on day one.

The Army has identified Future Vertical Lift as one of six modernization priorities. Secretary McCarthy praised industry for stepping up to advance the technology necessary for the Army’s mission.

"This is a very crucial moment for the Army for bringing in these new platforms into the formation so that we can maintain that technological edge for years to come," said McCarthy.

What’s next?

Sikorsky will continue to fly RAIDER and DEFIANT as risk reduction for FARA and FLRAA throughout the rest of the year. The two aircraft will continue to expand their envelopes in order to prove out the requirements and capabilities for Future Vertical Lift.
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