Bell has unveiled its proposed single-rotor design for the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), a cutting-edge helicopter that may be optionally manned.
The '360 Invictus' helicopter will be loaded with a 20 mm cannon and integrated munitions launcher able to carry Hellfire missiles or rockets. It will be able to adapt for future weapons integration in order to fight in urban environments, according to Bell.
An artist's depiction of the S-97 Raider light tactical prototype (Lockheed Martin)
Undeterred by decades of failure, the U.S. Army is trying again to acquire a new scout helicopter. The new rotorcraft is supposed to restore the dedicated aerial scout mission the Army gave up when in 2017 it retired its roughly 300 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior copters.
And here's a surprise. The new Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft also will replace half of the ground-combat branch's 700 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
Aviation Week reporter Stephen Trimble was the first to report the news. Joseph Trevithick at The War Zone piled on.