Karem has revealed concept art of its radical proposal for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) part of its wider Future Vertical Lift program.
Dubbed the AR-40, the design has a low-set composite coaxial main rotor and a swivelling pusher propeller/tail rotor at the end of the boom, high set wings to provide extra lift and to carry external stores, and a two-seat side-by-side cockpit. Karen has teamed with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon for its AR-40 proposal.
“We think optimal-speed tiltrotors are the best way to do VTOL [vertical takeoff and landing] with good forward airspeed and efficiency,” Karem FARA program manager Thomas Berger told Vertical magazine. “That said, the Army has a very particular requirement that FARA fit into a 40-foot space. One big rotor hub of 40 feet is better that two small rotors of sub-20 feet. Long story short, the tiltrotor just doesn’t fit into the 40-foot box.”
FARA is intended to replace the capability vacated by the 2014 retirement of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, and will provide a high-speed armed scout capability. Karem’s concept is up again the Sikorsky S-97-based Raider X, the Bell Invictus helicopter, the AVX/L3 Compound Coaxial Helicopter (CCH), and an as-yet unrevealed Boeing Phantom Works design.
The US Army is expected to shortlist its FARA bids to two contenders in March 202, after which prototypes of two of each will be manufactured and tested.