Sikorsky Aircraft presented a prototype of the S-97 Raider helicopter

Sikorsky recently unveiled a prototype of its new next-generation military helicopter S-97 Raider. Unlike most military aviation programs, the S-97 Raider was developed entirely with money from private companies. 75% of the funds were taken from the budget of Sikorsky, and the rest was invested by another 53 companies.

The new helicopter is based on Sikorsky X2 technology, which includes a pair of counter-rotating fixed coaxial rotors and a six-bladed tail propeller to accelerate. This design allows for successful vibration control, low noise levels and high cruising speed.

The S-97 Raider is supposed to be used as a multipurpose helicopter that will replace the American army helicopters OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and MH-6 Little Bird. Depending on how it is equipped, the S-97 will be able to conduct armed reconnaissance, be used for light attacks or assault, as well as search and evacuate the wounded.

The S-97 has a composite fuselage and a take-off weight of 4, 990 kg, a General Electric YT706 engine with a capacity of 2, 600 hp, and a length of 11 meters, with a blade span of 10 meters. With these parameters, the cruising speed of the helicopter is 407 km / h, which is more than twice the speed of conventional helicopters. When cornering, overloads can be up to 3 G, which provides greater maneuverability. The range of the helicopter is 570 km, and it can climb to an altitude of 3 km. Of the armament, the S-97 Raider is equipped with an automatic cannon, caliber 50 or 7.62 mm with an ammunition load of 500 rounds, as well as Hellfire guided missiles or unguided rockets.

Initial flight tests of the new helicopter will take place in the coming months.