Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky unit has released a new video of its next-generation helicopter prototype, the S-97 Raider, undergoing more flight testing.
The two-and-a-half minute video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday shows the coaxial chopper flying with wheels down and up, views from the cockpit as test pilots take notes, and multiple shots of the aircraft as it soars over the airport and surrounding environs.
The video comes barely a week after the company released three-and-a-half-minute animation of its proposal for an assault and attack variant of the SB>1 Defiant, a large coaxial design it’s pitching for the U.S. Army‘s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstrator and Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programs.
The Raider was initially designed for a $16 billion U.S. Army weapons acquisition program called the Armed Aerial Scout to replace the OH-58Kiowa Warrior, one of the smallest helicopters in the fleet.
While the service put that acquisition effort on hold due to budget limitations, Sikorsky, maker of the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and other aircraft, still plans to sell the coaxial design in the U.S. and abroad, and the firm along with its suppliers have spent tens of millions of dollars developing the technology.
Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter unit, meanwhile, is developing the tilt-rotor V-280 Valor for the JMR program and wants the Army to select its product to replace the Black Hawk helicopter as part of the Future Vertical Lift acquisition effort.
With a Valor first flight scheduled for later this year, one can’t help but wonder if Lockheed is trying to hammer home to Army officials and others the idea that its prototype is already flying.
One reader, however, pointed out that Bell officials have repeatedly said the V-280 is on track for completing first flight this fall and that Boeing officials have privately hinted that the date for Defiant’s first flight might be slipping — potentially by more than a year.
An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.