US Army, Future Attack Helicopter: Bell, Sikorsky short-listed over Boeing

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.

SOURCE: DEFENSEWORLD

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