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Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has three helicopter platforms under development in 2017. These are the HH- 60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH), the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter, and the VH-92A Presidential helicopter.


The HH-60W CRH is an advanced version of the military UH-60M Black Hawk. It is designed for combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) missions, and offers a larger cabin and increased internal fuel storage for greater range. It also has two General Electric T700-GE-701D turbo-shaft engines, composite wide-chord main rotor blades, fatigue and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structures, and an advanced tactical mission kit with multiple sensors, data links, defensive systems, and other sources of intelligence information for CSAR crews.


Having passed its Air Vehicle Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in May 2016, the HH-60W program is now moving ahead as


scheduled. “The successful Air Vehicle PDR confirms the program is on the right track and marks a significant step for the CRH program,” said Tim Healy, Sikorsky’s CRH program director. “This successful PDR moves us closer to bringing this vital aircraft to the warfighter.”


Sikorsky is currently building four HH-60W helicopters and six aircrew/maintenance training systems under a $1.2 billion Engineering Manufacturing & Development (EMD) contract with the USAF. Eventually, 112 HH-60Ws will replace the Air Force’s aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.


The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter, which is being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, provides substantially more lifting power and performance than the Marine’s current CH-53E fleet. To this end, a CH-53K King Stallion has successfully completed an external lift of a 27,000-pound payload at the Sikorsky Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The new aircraft has also achieved flight speeds exceeding 140 knots.


Three CH-53K prototypes are currently in flight tests. All are equipped with modern glass cockpits and fly-by-wire flight controls. The U.S. Department of Defense has purchased 200 CH-53Ks, with four scheduled to be delivered to the Marines in 2017.


The VH-92A Presidential Helicopter passed its Critical Design Review (CDR), signalling that Sikorsky can now assemble, test, and evaluate the new platform. The VH- 92A is based on the company’s S-92, and will consist of 21 operational and two test aircraft. “This milestone is an important achievement for our program and demonstrates Sikorsky and NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) are well aligned,” said Spencer Elani, Sikorsky director of the VH-92A helicopter program. “We got here by completing several milestones on or ahead of schedule. We are committed to staying on that track as we head into the building phase of the program.”


60


Jan/Feb 2017


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