The Sikorsky S-97 Raider was designed to be a light tactical helicopter similar to the Kiowa Warrior but with X2 technology. It will be a cutting-edge helicopter unlike anything in service in the US Military.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider: Kiowa Warrior replacement?

The Raider with X2 technology is a significant update to traditional helicopter designs that will compete for the contract offers by the military to replace its older helicopters which are less fast and stealthier, as reported by Army Technology.

Using X2 tech, the Sikorsky claims faster speed with safety and efficiency, faster with quieter rotors make its approach less detectable on the battlefield.

To ensure that the Raider passes the requirements of the US Armed Forces, test units will be given for flight testing and evaluation for future combat missions. Capable of both assault and armed reconnaissance missions in the airborne cavalry. Other uses of the unique platform are close air support (CAS), combat search and rescue with special operations as multi-mission for the helicopter.

One big difference is that the Raider had a maximum speed of 220 knots and flies as high as 10,000 feet in the air. Modern entrants to the US programs need helicopters that fly fast for recon missions as well.

It has a lower turning radius and less rotor noise, that perfect for scout missions; its quiet rotor is a gamechanger for light military helicopters. Two of the first Sikorsky S-97 Raider prototypes were revealed in October 2014; the first flight would be December of the same year.

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Sikorsky's light military helicopter is distinct from other rotorcraft when started in 2010 to apply dual rotor X2 in the next-gen design. The X2 base helicopter is for the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program of the US Army. This meant fast and lightly armored helicopters that did armed reconnaissance for the army, watching and engaging targets of opportunity.

On June 14, the first Raider was fully assembled and powered for the first time. About 35 suppliers were involved in the development of the airframe in the US. Sikorsky spent 75% of the project, with 25% left for suppliers to pay for.

Features of the X2 based design

The dimensions of the S-97 Raider scout helicopter are 37 feet long and 16 feet wide, the top rotors have a 34-foot diameter on top, and the rear propeller is 7 feet in diameter.

The Raider body will be made of light composite materials for lightness and durability; it can have six soldiers with the pilot and co-pilot in the front. In the cockpit, there is side-by-side tandem seating for the pilot and co-pilot. It differs from the AH-64 and Super Cobra with the pilot in front and his partner in the back.

Other features are:

a. The twin rigid co-axial counter-rotating main rotors.
b. Additional internal fuel tank aft of the cockpit.
c. Retractable landing gear and fly-by-wire flight controls.
d. Vibration control.

Extra add-ons are active vibration control, hub drag reduction, heat management, and split torque transmission.


Complete the Sikorsky S-97 Raider offensive weapons that are Hellfire missile, 2.75in rockets, .50 cal gun, and a 7.62mm gun equip it. More ammunition for cannons can be carried if needed; the weapons are located aft of the cockpit and the tail end of the helicopter.

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