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Sikorsky's RAIDER X Team Begins Installation Process of US Army's Improved Turbine Engine

West Palm Beach, Fla. October 24, 2023 Photo(s): By Sikorsky
The US Army's Improved Turbine Engine arrived at the Sikorsky facility in West Palm Beach on October 20, 2023. Sikorsky's technical teams and engineers immediately began integrating the engine into the RAIDER X®.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company is beginning the installation process of the US Army's new Improved Turbine Engine (ITEP) on its RAIDER X aircraft designed for the Future Attack Reconnaissance (FARA) program. The US Army and Sikorsky engineers reviewed the engine after its arrival at the company's West Palm Beach facility and then transferred it to the engine integration test lab next to the RAIDER X assembly area on October 20, 2023.

"Lockheed Martin's model-based systems engineering approach gives the Sikorsky team confidence in this final phase of the RAIDER X build which brings us one step closer to completing this weapon system that will match the rapid pace of the reconnaissance mission," said Future Vertical Lift Vice President Andy Adams. "The data RAIDER X gathers and the speed and agility with which it operates will support the Army's mission for deep sensing capability and unsurpassed networking, connecting Soldiers and the joint force to the information they need to complete their missions."

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RAIDER X is currently 98% complete. After installing additional instrumentation, Sikorsky will begin engine installation immediately. Following that, final system tests and check-outs will be accomplished. Those will be followed by engine turn on and drive system check out with the ITEP in the aircraft. After successful system checks, we will conduct flight acceptance testing and proceed to first flight.

First flight of RAIDER X is expected in late 2024, when the engine and aircraft are approved for flight by the Army.

In addition to RAIDER X, the Army intends to transition the ITEP engine to the UH-60 Black Hawk fleet.

"With increased fuel efficiency and 50% more power than the current engine, the ITEP engine is one of the cornerstones to Black Hawk modernization and will increase the aircraft's lift capability and range," Adams said. "As the US Army fields Future Vertical Lift aircraft, the Black Hawk will remain the foundational tactical air assault and utility aircraft for the US Army."