The US Army announced yesterday, March 25 in a press release the names of the two finalists for the Futur Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft program, or FARA, intended to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters and part of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. As for the FLRAA (Futur Long Range Assault Aircraft) program intended to replace the tactical transport helicopters UH-60 Black Hawk, these are the Bell companies with its Bell 360 Invictus and Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, with the Raider-X, which were selected. The proposals of Boeing, Kareem Aircraft and AVX Aircraft / L3 were not accepted.
With this decision, the US Army chooses the two most poles apart from the tender. Indeed, the Bell 360 Invictus was the most "conservative" model, since based on a classic helicopter architecture whose performance would have been optimized. It is also the most economical device, Bell having obviously bet everything on this aspect, knowing that the US Army, like other American armies, faces high budgetary constraints while its needs in terms of modernization of its equipments are very important. On the other side of the spectrum, Sikorsky's Raider X is the most innovative device, with its counter-rotating rotor and propellant propeller, and the one that will potentially offer the highest performance. It is also the most expensive device to develop, and probably to maintain, given the complexity of its architecture.
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