Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. unveiled the S-97 Raider light-attack helicopter on Thursday, which it hopes the U.S. Army will see as a viable replacement for its OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.
“We haven’t seen something this new in 30 years,” Mark Miller, vice president of research and engineering, Sikorsky/status/517682222233845760” target=”_blank”>said at the company’s Florida event on Thursday.
Although prototype versions of the aircraft were able to fly 290 miles per hour, Mr. Miller may have to wait on an official response from the Pentagon — the acquisition process for the Kiowa Warrior’s replacement has been put on hold due to budget cuts, military.com reported Thursday.
“Raider is an all-new helicopter, all-new configuration,” said Mr. Miller, referencing the aircraft’s counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller, which can carry the Raider at “more than double the speed of conventional helicopters.”
In a press release put out Thursday, Sikorsky asserted that the S-97 Raider would provide buyers with “greatly improved maneuverability and speed, significantly improved high/hot hover performance, and greater range and endurance.”
If the Army acquisition process unfreezes and officials deem the S-97 Raider an adequate replacement for the Kiowa Warrior, the Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky would stand to make roughly $16 billion through the Armed Aerial Scout program, military.com reported.
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