Airbus to Pursue US Army Helo Program With X3-Based Platform

Airbus’ helicopter manufacturing division has joined the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competition seeking a new armed scout rotorcraft to replace the service's retired fleet of Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warriors, Flightglobal reported Wednesday.

FARA aims to replace the Army's Kiowa Warriors with new high-speed military helicopters in the mid-2020s.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said the company has proposed an aircraft design based on its X3 technologywhich recorded a speed of more than 290 miles per hour before it was retired in 2014.

Even said Airbus is enhancing the technology to meet future military requirements for high-speed helicopters.

The Army plans to select the six initial designs for FARA by mid-2019 and to announce the winning bid in 2024.

Other companies competing for FARA include Textron’s Bell subsidiary, an L3 Technologies-AVX Aircraft team and BoeingLockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary.

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