• All five defense teams competing to build the Army’s Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) have revealed their designs.
  • Boeing, the last of the major players to do so, showed its hand Tuesday, revealing the Boeing FARA.
  • The other competitors are Bell and Collins Aerospace with the 360 Invictus, L3 and AVX with their FARA CCH, Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky with the Raider X, and Karem Aircraft, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon with the AR40.
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The US Army is looking for a new armed scout helicopter, and Boeing, the last competitor to show its hand, has finally unveiled its vision for the future aircraft.

The Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program is one of Army Futures Command’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) priorities.

Boeing FARA, as the company is calling its design, is a fully integrated, purpose-built design that Boeing expects to fill a gap in Army aviation, the company said in a release Tuesday. The aircraft features a three-rotor system, as well as a “modular, state-of-the-art cockpit with a reconfigurable large area display and autonomous capabilities.”

—Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) March 3, 2020

Boeing was the last of the five competing defense teams to show their hand in the FARA competition.

Other FARA designs include the 360 Invictus from Bell, which is working closely with Collins Aerospace.

Bell 360 Invictus

Bell 360 Invictus.

Bell


L3 and AVX have their FARA CCH.

AVX-L3 compound coaxial helicopter

AVX-L3 compound coaxial helicopter.


AVX-L3



Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky is pitching its Raider X.

Sikorsky Raider X

Sikorsky Raider X.

Sikorsky/Press Photo


And, Karem Aircraft, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon have their AR40.

Karem AR40

Karem AR40.

Karem Aircraft


Each of the five designs has its own unique features, such as the FARA CCH’s ability to be reconfigured for different mission sets, but all of the aircraft are designed to provide the Army with an aircraft that is agile, lethal, and survivable.

The Army expects this helicopter to be a high-speed aircraft able to travel at speeds in excess of 180 knots.

Last year, Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, the Army FVL cross-functional team leader, said that “FARA is going to be the greatest armed reconnaissance helicopter in the world.”

The FARA program aims to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, which was retired in 2014. The five competing companies were selected April to develop prototypes. Soon, the Army will select two companies to move forward to the next phase of development.

Competition for the FARA program is expected to wrap up after a fly-off in 2023, and the final FARA selection is expected to be fielded by 2028.

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