The US Army has down-selected Bell’s 360 Invictus and Sikorsky’s Raider X for the second phase of its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition programme. On March 25, the Army announced it had selected the Invictus and the Raider X out of five potential candidates. The others comprised of AVX Aircraft’s Compound Coaxial Helicopter (CCH), Boeing’s FARA concept and Karem Aircraft’s AR40.
Phase two of the programme will see Bell and Sikorsky test airworthy prototypes ahead of a fly-off competition, which is scheduled to begin in 2024. One of them will make it as the Army’s next-generation light attack/reconnaissance helicopter, which is set to be first fielded in 2028.
As part of the selection, Bell is designing, manufacturing, and testing the Bell 360 Invictus, a prototype rotorcraft designed to provide improved lethality, survivability, and extended reach for Army Aviation. This selection follows almost a full year of design and risk-reduction work by the Bell team as part of the initial contract phase.
The FARA competition seeks to design, produce and test a prototype that will fill the capability gap caused by the retirement of the army’s Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior light attack/reconnaissance helicopter fleet in 2017 – a gap which is currently being covered by army Boeing AH-64D/E attack helicopters.
As part of the U.S. government’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of programs, the FARA competition seeks to test and acquire a next-generation attack reconnaissance aircraft to fill a critical capability gap identified by the Army on a rapid schedule. READ MORE BY FOLLOWING THE LINK