Lockheed Martin Corp's LMT business unit, Sikorsky, recently introduced the RAIDER X helicopter, specially designed for the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. RAIDER X reflects the company's broad expertise in developing innovative systems using the latest digital design and manufacturing techniques.
A Brief Note on the RAIDER X Helicopter
Lockheed Martin's RAIDER X is an agile, lethal and survivable compound coaxial helicopter, which has been specifically designed to secure vertical lift dominance against evolving peer and near-peer threats in the most demanding and contested environments. With the introduction of RAIDER X, Sikorsky presents the latest design in its X2 family of aircraft.
RAIDER X to Intensify Competition
Over the past few years, Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky has been competing with Textron Inc.'s TXT Bell unit and military helicopters manufactured by Boeing's BA Defense, Space & Security segment.
Interestingly, Textron's Bell unit has recently introduced its advanced rotorcraft, the 360 Invictus, which, like the RAIDER X, is anticipated to deliver superior battlefield situational awareness along with advanced lethality. In fact, the 360 Invictus has been designed keeping in mind the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program.
Notably, the introduction of both helicopters will surely intensify competition for acquiring major contracts from the U.S Army, in the days ahead.
In recent times, the importance of military helicopters in the U.S. aerospace-defense market has grown immensely. The market has also gained significant traction owing to advancements and integration of new tactical, logistical and other features. Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky unit has played its part in these developments, thus building a strong foundation for this defense giant to acquire valuable helicopter-related contracts in recent times.
Notably, per a report by ASD Media BV, the global military and government helicopter market is projected to see a CAGR of 8.4% from 2016 to $13.9 billion by 2020, which is expected to be dominated by medium-lift type helicopters. Such projections are expected to drive revenues for military helicopter makers like Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin's stock has gained 14.9% in the past year compared with the industry's growth of 4.7%.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Lockheed Martin currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
A similar-ranked stock in the same sector is Leidos Holdings, Inc. LDOS.
Leidos delivered average positive earnings surprise of 6.51% in the last four quarters. The company's long-term growth estimates currently stand at 7.5%.
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