Boeing unveiled its single-engine helicopter design for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) prototype competition on Tuesday. The unnamed thrust compounded single-main rotor helicopter features fly-by-wire controls, tandem seating, a six-bladed rotor system, a modular cockpit with a reconfigurable display and autonomous capabilities. Boeing has not announced expected performance numbers for the aircraft.
“We listened to the Army, assessed all alternatives, and optimized our design to provide the right aircraft to meet the requirements,” said Boeing FARA Program Manager Shane Openshaw. “We are offering a very reliable, sustainable and flexible aircraft with a focus on safety and the future fight.”
The FARA program was initiated in 2018 with an eye toward filling the gap left by the retirement of the Bell OH-58 Kiowa. Other companies offering designs include Bell Textron with the 360 Invictus, Sikorsky with the Raider X, Karem Aircraft with the AR40 and an AVX Aircraft-L3 Technologies team with the FARA CCH. The Army is expected to select two companies to move forward with prototypes by the end of the month with the goal of completing first flights in early 2023.