Sikorsky Aircraft Pitches Light Tactical Helicopter Concept for Armed Aerial Scout Mission
Sikorsky Aircraft formally submitted its response to the Department of Defense Request for Information on March 17. The Army is reviewing the alternatives for the program. In addition to the high-speed Light Tactical Helicopter (LTH), Sikorsky submitted information on other Sikorsky aircraft that could perform the mission, including the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, depending on how the requirements are eventually defined.
“The Army is preparing for Phase II of the Analysis of Alternatives to identify its future requirements for the AAS mission. We believe the LTH brings game-changing technology, offering significant improvements in ‘high-hot’ performance, speed, survivability,” said Steve Engebretson, Director of Sikorsky’s AAS program.
A mockup of Sikorsky’s LTH aircraft is on display in the Sikorsky booth, #527, at the AAAA Convention in the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The X2 TECHNOLOGY Light Tactical Helicopter multi-mission capabilities will meet both conventional U.S. Army and Special Operations future requirements in a variety of combat roles. Sikorsky Aircraft has invested in the LTH concept to illustrate its commitment to developing future capabilities that are achievable and affordable. X2 TECHNOLOGY is scalable to a variety of military missions including assault, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.
The Defense Department has indicated it expects to need AAS aircraft in the next seven to 10 years.
“With the X2 Technology Light Tactical Helicopter, the Army has the opportunity to introduce the next generation of helicopters through the Armed Aerial Scout program,” said Scott Starrett, President, Sikorsky Military Systems. “Using the X2 Technology features we are flying now on our Demonstrator aircraft, we believe the LTH will be able to operate at altitudes and air speeds no conventional helicopter can match. It offers potential maneuverability and survivability that will dramatically improve the way Army Aviation conducts combat operations.”
The technology demonstrator aircraft, which achieved first flight in August 2008, is progressing toward the milestone of achieving 250 knot cruise speed. The project is funded entirely by Sikorsky.
The X2 TECHNOLOGYTM demonstrator combines an integrated suite of technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art, counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is designed to demonstrate a helicopter can cruise at 250 knots, while retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low speed handling, efficient hovering, safe autorotation, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed.
Among the innovations the X2 Technology demonstrator employs are:
• Fly-by-wire flight controls
• Counter-rotating rigid rotor blades
• Hub drag reduction
• Active vibration control
• Integrated auxiliary propulsion system
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.