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.
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.