Sikorsky S-97 Raiderâ„¢ helicopter program update - February 2012 The Sikorsky S-97 Raider is a proposed high-speed scout and attack helicopter, under development by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky plans to offer it for the United States Army Armed Aerial Scout program, along with other possible uses.Just like the X2, the S-97 will come equipped with coaxial rotors, pusher propulsor, integrated powerplant and fly-by-wire. Sikorsky plans the first flight of the S-97 within 50 months, and hopes that the Raider will be operational by 2014.the aircraft is 35.1ft long with 33ft-diameter rotors. Empty weight is around 6,700lb and maximum gross weight 10,500lb. At a mission weight of about 9,500lb, cruise speed is 200kt, turn rate 2.9g and endurance 3.5hr on internal fuel.First proposed in response to a Request for Information for the Armed Aerial Scout program in March 2010,the S-97 was formally launched on 20 October 2010. It is intended as a possible contender for the United States Army requirement for an Armed Aerial Scout to replace the Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Other military roles are possible, with the U.S. Special Operations Command having expressed interest in the concept, and the possibility of adapting it for civilian applications also exists.