The U.S. Military selected Bell, a Textron Inc. and Sikorsky, a business subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, to build and test versatile, deadly and sustainable competitive prototype for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program.
Based on the Military’s delegates, prototypes of a are new deadly rotorcraft scheduled to first fly in 2023.
As part of the U.S. government’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) household of programs, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition seeks to test and acquire a next-generation attack reconnaissance plane to fill a vital capability gap identified by the Military on a speedy schedule.
The Military demands the FARA a “knife fighter” for the future battlefield. FARA’s platforms will comprise a variety of payloads to degrade or destroy superior unmanned aerial systems and offer support to troops on the ground.
The Sikorsky’s Raider X compound coaxial helicopter and Bell’s 360 Invictus single-main-rotor helicopter have been selected by the Military to continue into the aggressive prototyping phase of FARA. This means, Sikorsky and Bell will further improve the design, development and construct of the new deadly rotorcraft prototype, leading up to a flight test program.
A government-backed fly-off between the two is scheduled for no later than the fall of 2023. The Military is aiming to bridge the operational void left by retiring the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed scout helicopter. The successful FARA ought to fit in a 40-foot by 40-foot box and obtain cruise speeds of 180 knots in forwarding flight.