Sikorsky helicopter programme progresses
Posted on 07 May 2020 and read 486 times
Sikorsky — a Lockheed Martin company — is to build 12 more HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters (CRHs) after a second Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract award by the US Air Force.
Known as Lot 2 and valued at over $500 million, the new contract follows a number of programme milestones in 2019, including first flight, a ‘Milestone C’ decision by the Air Force, and the award of the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for 10 aircraft.
The HH-60W is an all-new helicopter based on the proven UH-60M Black Hawk and customised for the US Air Force’s rescue missions.
Since the Milestone C decision in September 2019, which moved the CRH program into LRIP, the programme has continued to progress, reaching key milestones and ‘executing an aggressive flight test schedule’.
Seven CRH aircraft are currently in flight — two of them at Eglin Air Force Base (Florida) — and all are undertaking expanded flight tests to support the path to Required Assets Available (RAA).
The HH-60W CRH (www.lockheedmartin.com
) is significantly more capable and reliable than its predecessor, the HH-60G Pave Hawk.
It has a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the main fuel tank.
The US Air Force programme calls for 113 helicopters to replace the Pave Hawks, which perform critical combat ‘search and rescue’ and ‘personnel recovery’ operations for all US military services.
A total of nine aircraft will be built at Sikorsky’s Stratford (Connecticut) facility during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the programme ― four EMD aircraft and five System Demonstration Test Articles.