The Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche is the world's most advanced helicopter and the cornerstone of the U.S. Army's Force XXI aviation modernization plan.
The Comanche makes use of the latest advancements in aerospace technology, including stealth which has until now been confined to airplanes.
The sophisticated design of the Comanche helicopter allows it to dash to a speed of 175 knots, then cruise at a steady 165. The futuristic propulsion and navigation design also allows the helicopter to execute snap turns in 4.5 seconds and fly sideways or backwards at an incredible 70 mph! With a tremendous power output of 1,432 horsepower from each of it's turboshafts, the Comanche climbs at a rate of 1,418 feet per minute.
The Comanche can go to war with up to 14 "Fire and Forget" Hellfire anti-tank missiles, which, once fired, are programmed to control their own flight to their targets. The helicopter can also deploy up to 56 rockets (70mm), or 28 Stinger air-to-air missiles, to attack fixed and rotary-wing targets.
Alternatively, it can carry two 430-gallon ferry tanks to self-deploy over 1,260 nm, or crashworthy 230-gallon tanks for more than four hours of combat endurance.
Adding to its already immense firepower, the Comanche also stows a three-barreled, 20 mm turreted nose mini-gun that can shoot 1500 rounds per minute.
To maintain its low "stealth" profile, the Comanche features a fully retractable missile armament system, enabling it to hide missiles and rockets in I-RAMS (Integrated Retractable Munitions Systems) bays.
Designed using computer databases, Comanche redefines the helicopter in terms of power, maneuverability, technological sophistication, and materials engineering. Twin LHTEC-800-LHT-801 turboshaft engines drive an advanced five-blade, bearingless main rotor which further enhances high performance and agility in air-to-air combat. Its FANTAIL anti-torque tail rotor system lets Comanche execute amazing maneuvers near impossible for other helicopters.
Comanche also features reconfigurable, fault-tolerant digital missions electronics and on-board diagnostics, Longbow fire-control radar, triple-redundant fly-by-wire flight control and simple, remove-and-replace maintenance.
A wide-field-of-view, helmet-mounted display provides flight information, night vision sensors and a sight system for use with weapons.
In addition, the RAH-66's Hands On Grips controls literally let pilots fly and perform mission tasks with one hand - a first-ever achievement in a helicopter.
The Comanche also breaks new ground in the use of high technology composites to satisfy both Low Observable Technology requirements and aggressive weight and cost specifications.
Stealth Warrior in the Digital Battlefield
Its on-board computing capability enables Comanche to acquire, process, analyze and disseminate an amount of information unsurpassed by today's helicopters. Comanche's low radar signature, high technology composites, special acoustics design, and a buried exhaust system, make it less observable than today's premier attack and armed reconnaissance helicopters.
Add to this new generation of passive long-range, high-resolution battlefield sensors, digital interconnectivity, to share data with other members of the combined arms team, produces a completely integrated targeting, and communications weapon system, facilitating the delivery of quick, coordinated responses to tactical situations with minimal work for the pilot.