the fastest combat helicopter in the world and with state-of-the-art weapons

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It has a top speed of 215 knots (425 kilometers per hour), is equipped with eight surface-to-air missiles, and is the great hope of the US military. The Sikorsky Raider X is now almost complete, and will make its first litmus test in 2023. So will this beast of combat engineering.

Fast in flight, powerful in attack

Sikorsky Raider X Fara Helicopter Proposal Usa

The raider x it is one of the prototypes being created for the United States Army. It will be part of the FARA program (Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraf) of the United States and with it the rejuvenate the air fleet, replacing models like the AH-64. It is currently close to completing its development phase, and is considered one of the key weapons in aerial territory.

It is a helicopter designed to be faster than rivals like the Bell 360 Invictus or the AH-64 Apache. The (theoretical) numbers speak of a maximum speed of 215 knots, about 425 kilometers per hour. It would thus become the fastest combat helicopter in the world.

The base of this helicopter is the S-97 Raider, a reconnaissance and attack machine equipped with a coaxial rotor system that propelled it above 260 knots. Nevertheless, the S-97 Raider program ended up being canceleddue to high fuel consumption, excessive vibrations and complexity.

Despite the problems of the original model, this X Raider It is heavier (and therefore less fast compared to the previous model) has a larger diameter rotor and will be propelled by the General Electric T901a turboshaft engine more than recent with a power of 2,200 kilowatts (about 3,000CV).

Sikorsky Raider X Lockheed Martin 1

The helicopter’s weapons, eight Hellfier air-to-ground missiles, will be configured in two modules, deployed from the sides of the helicopter. this armament is hidden during the flight, to improve aerodynamic efficiency. What is not hidden is the huge machine gun with three 20-millimeter barrels, mounted on the front of the device.

You will also be able to launch combat drones, like the little Eaglet from General Atomics. This has a weight of 90 kilos, a top speed that exceeds 200 kilometers per hour and has a load capacity of up to 13 kilos. It is thus possible to launch explosive charges at high speed.

Despite the fact that the tests will start in 2023, where it must prove to be better than Bell’s Invictus 360, delivery of operating units is not expected until 2028.

Cover image | Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter, Flickr

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