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New Candidate for US FARA Program

New Candidate for US FARA Program 5 March, 2020

Candidates for the future reconnaissance helicopter program are coming out.

Within the scope of the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), the USA sent an invitation letter to the companies in the past. After that, companies started to reveal the concept studies of the new generation high speed rotary wing platforms and began studies on the designs of the future. The latest concept work came from Boeing.

The name of the platform on which the company publishes concept drawings has not been announced yet. The drawings show that the platform, which has a four-blade thruster on tail in addition to a six-blade main rotor and four blade anti-torque rotor which all driven by a single engine. According to Boeing's description, the helicopter has a hingeless rotor structure that reduces the need for maintenance, and a rotor head that reduces acoustic and radar signature that has special structure was preferred. The company states that the platform can reach very high speeds for a helicopter such as 180 knots / hour (333 km / h).

The helicopter fuselage has special form that reduces the radar cross-sectional area and also has a internal weapon bay and retractable landing gear for the purpose of reducing the sign on the radar screen. The platform, which has the lines reminiscent of the RAH-66 Commanche developed in the late stages of the Cold War in the middle fuselage, will carry its ammunition at the internal weapon station, which also serves as a slot cover. If necessary, the system will be able to launch its ammunition by opening these covers which serves as weapon station at the same time. In addition, a three-barreled gun placed in the nose part so protects the line of the hull and its electrooptic equipment for use in reconnaissance-observation missions. The modular cockpit in the tandem structure will have autonomous features and will be equipped with large touchscreen multifunction displays. In this way, the platform will have a configurable structure according to the mission requirement and user preferences.

FARA program, which is full of new generation technical unknowns and problems that need to be overcome, was launched to acquire the new platform which will replace the retired OH-58D Kiowa Warriors in recent years. The retirement of the helicopters before the new candidate was selected caused an important gap in the armed rotary wing recon capability of the US Army. In order to fill this gap, it is aimed to announce the winner in FARA in 2023 and to put the first platforms into service in 2028.

New Candidate for US FARA Program

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