Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Slick New S-97 Raider Makes the Black Hawk Look *So* 1974
The competition to be the next Army helicopter is heating up. On June 20th, Sikorsky's S-97 Raider once again took flight completing a 90-minute demonstration, the first since an August 2017 crash caused by flight software errors grounded the program
According to Sikorsky, the S-97 will be capable of ‘light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.’ which would make the Raider a virtual flying Swiss Army knife.
With a more conventional twin rotor design (in the sense that there is only one operational tilt-rotor aircraft operating in military's around the world, and that is the V-22) than the Bell V-280 Valor, the Raider is designed to allow maximum maneuverability, capable of speeds of around 250 miles per hour and dropping six fully loaded troops into the fray. It has a reported range of 350 miles and can hover at an altitude of 10,000 feet. By comparison, the Valor can reach speeds of 322 miles per hour and has a range of between 500 to 900 miles depending on the configuration.
But the main selling point of the S-97 Raider comes out of the war in Afghanistan, where high altitude was king and helos would be stripped down to make it into the high mountain passes of the Hindu Kush. Not only does the S-97 have a much higher hover service ceiling, but it also can operate when it’s hot as well as high, with a max temperature rating of 95 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect for missions in the Middle East and Africa. (By comparison, the Valor has a hover service ceiling of roughly 6,000 feet, but the Valor can also cruise at 20,000 feet). Why the hot performance matters comes down to how lift is achieved. In hotter temperatures, air is thinner, which impacts how high the air-frame can go, how much fuel it is using, and other performance characteristics.
An artist's depiction of the S-97 performing operations in a high-heat environment.Sikorsky
It’s worth noting that there’s also a bigger, badder version of the S-97 on the way, the SB-1 Defiant. The Defiant is primed to be larger, faster, and able to fly farther than the S-97. Sikorsky is aiming to throw the one-two punch, by offering the S-97 to take on the Kiowa/Apache role, while the SB-1 takes on the heavier lift role of the UH-60 Blackhawk.
As the competition to become the next Army helicopter heats up, it will be interesting to see who will come out on top, the long range of the Bell V-280 Valor, or the maneuverability and high altitude S-97 Raider combined with the size of the SB-1 Defiant. One thing is certain: the future of Army Aviation certainly looks cool.
A enlisted thinktank brought to you by Task & Purpose
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article did not specify the Bell V-280 maximum service ceiling mentioned of 6,000 ft. at 95 degrees Fahrenheit referred to the hover ceiling versus a cruise ceiling of around 20,000 ft. (Updated 6/25/2018; 1:133pm EST)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as his choice to replace John Bolton as his national security adviser, making him the fourth person to hold the post in the Trump administration.
QUANTICO MARINE CORPS BASE, Virginia -- Textron Systems is working with the Navy to turn a mine-sweeping unmanned surface vessel designed to work with Littoral Combat Ships into a mine-hunting craft armed with Hellfire missiles and a .50-caliber machine gun.
Textron displayed the proof-of-concept, surface-warfare mission package designed for the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) at Modern Day Marine 2019.
"It's a huge capability," Wayne Prender, senior vice president for Applied Technologies and Advanced Programs at Textron Systems, told Military.com on Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.
Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.
The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.