Tag Archives: Sikorsky

Limited User Testing

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered software to the U.S. Army for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter to enter Limited User Testing (LUT) – a critical milestone leading into production.

As the supplier of the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, Northrop Grumman has delivered software for the helicopter to enter Limited User Testing – a critical milestone leading into production
As the supplier of the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, Northrop Grumman has delivered software for the helicopter to enter Limited User Testing – a critical milestone leading into production

Under a contract awarded in 2014, Northrop Grumman is partnering with the U.S. Army Prototype Integration Facility and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems to modernize the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters through cost-effective cockpit upgrades, replacing older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays.

Northrop Grumman is supplying the Integrated Avionics Suite for the upgraded aircraft, designated the UH-60V, which features one of the Army’s most advanced avionics solutions to enable the complex missions of the army aviation warfighter.

Through this latest milestone, Northrop Grumman has provided a digital cockpit software build that includes all the functionality required for LUT, which will evaluate the system’s operational readiness, capabilities and compatibility with the UH-60M Pilot-Vehicle Interface. This important test informs the Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision. The UH-60V is scheduled to enter LRIP in 2019.

«This software delivery milestone is an important step forward in our journey to provide cutting-edge capabilities and mission-enabling solutions to warfighters through an affordable, low-risk digital cockpit upgrade», said Ed Griebel, director, land & avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman. «Our mission solution preserves investment in the Black Hawk fleet while modernizing the aircraft to provide warfighters with a decisive advantage».

Northrop Grumman’s scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package enables enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, as well as decreased pilot workload and life cycle cost. The UH-60V’s Pilot-Vehicle Interface (PVI) is nearly identical to the UH‑60M PVI, providing common training and operational employment.

Northrop Grumman’s open architecture approach provides greater flexibility and enables upgrades to be done with or without the original equipment manufacturer’s involvement. In addition to the UH-60V, Northrop Grumman’s scalable and fully integrated architecture is and can be applied to numerous platforms such as the E‑2D, AH-1F/S and other aircraft worldwide. The operators of these aircraft can reduce their logistics footprint by having common avionics in multiple platforms and avoid sustaining large component inventories.

The UH-60V meets the standards for safety-critical software development and is designed to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s Global Air Traffic Management requirements, enabling the system to traverse military and civilian airspace worldwide. It is also certifiable and compliant with safety-critical avionics standards such as DO-178C.

The first King

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) on May 16, 2018. The aircraft is the first of an expected 200 helicopters for the Marine Corps’ fleet.

Sikorsky Begins CH-53 King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter Deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps
Sikorsky Begins CH-53 King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter Deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps

The CH-53K is the new build replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps’ aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The CH-53E first flew in 1974 and entered service with the USMC in 1981.

«Our first delivery of a CH-53K to the Marine Corps marks the start of a new generation of true heavy lift helicopter deliveries by Sikorsky that bring unsurpassed and expanded capability across the modern battlefield to provide tremendous mission flexibility and efficiency in delivering combat power, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief for those in need», said Dan Schultz, Sikorsky President and former CH-53 pilot. «With 18 additional aircraft in various stages of production already, the entire Sikorsky team, in partnership with our suppliers, is looking forward to additional deliveries to delight our customer».

This first CH53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter will be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

There the helicopter enters into the Supportability Test Plan. U.S. Marines will conduct a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion. This assessment also will validate maintenance procedures with Marine Corps maintainers conducting hands-on care/upkeep of the aircraft. The Supportability Test Plan will ensure readiness and support on the flightline when CH-53K helicopters enter into service with the USMC.

Sikorsky expects to deliver its second CH-53K King Stallion helicopter to the USMC in early 2019.

The CH-53K King Stallion test program recently completed the following milestones: maximum weight single-point cargo hook sling load of 36,000 pounds/16,329 kilograms; forward flight speed of over 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h; 60 degrees angle of bank turns; altitude of 18,500 feet/5,639 meters Mean Sea Level (MSL); 12-degree slope landings and takeoffs; external load auto-jettison; and gunfire testing.

«I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines», Lieutenant General Steven Rudder, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, said. «And confident in the teamwork and dedication in this program which will carry us to IOC (Initial Operational Capability) next year».

Sikorsky is preparing its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut, to house CH-53K King Stallion production beginning this summer.

The heavy lift helicopter made its international debut and showcased its maneuverability and advanced fly-by-wire technology during demonstration flights at the recent ILA Berlin Air Show in Berlin, Germany. For the latest video and photos from the air show please visit our Twitter and Facebook channels.

The CH-53K King Stallion is an all new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K King Stallion helicopter is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

External Lift

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion completed an external lift of a 36,000-pound/16,330-kg payload at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, achieving a maximum weight on the single center point cargo hook. This milestone marks completion of critical flight envelope expansion activities for the CH-53K King Stallion as Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company prepares to deliver the first aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps this year.

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter achieves a 36,000-pound/16,330-kg lift for the first time at Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on February 10, 2018 (Image courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company)
The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter achieves a 36,000-pound/16,330-kg lift for the first time at Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on February 10, 2018 (Image courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company)

The CH-53K King Stallion lifted the external load of 36,000 lbs./16,330 kg into a hover followed by flight demonstrating satisfactory handling qualities and structural margins. The gross weight of the aircraft topped out at just over 91,000 lbs./41,277 kg, making this the heaviest helicopter ever flown by Sikorsky.

«The successful completion of these last critical envelope expansion tests further demonstrates the maturity of the CH-53K aircraft», said Doctor Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President, Marine Corps Systems. «We look forward to bringing this unique and exceptional heavy lift capability to the United States Marine Corps and our international customers».

Prior to the 36,000-lb./16,330 kg lift, the CH-53K King Stallion lifted various external payloads up to 27,000 lbs./12,247 kg including a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The CH-53K can carry a 27,000 lb./12,247 kg external load over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km in high/hot conditions, which is more than triple the external load carrying capacity of the legacy CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft. Other flight envelope accomplishments include tethered hover demonstrating flight speeds to 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h, angle of bank to 60 degrees, takeoffs and landings from sloped surfaces up to 12 degrees, external load auto-jettison, and gunfire testing.

«The payload capability of this helicopter is unmatched, triple that of its predecessor and better than any other heavy lift helicopter in production», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters Program. «The CH-53K program continues on pace to deploy this incredible heavy lift capability to our warfighters».

The CH-53K King Stallion is also garnering international interest. Rheinmetall and Sikorsky recently signed a strategic teaming agreement to offer the CH-53K King Stallion for Germany’s new heavy lift helicopter competition. Additional teammates will be announced in the coming weeks leading up to the aircraft’s debut at the ILA Berlin Air Show in April.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion completed an external lift of a 36,000-pound/16,330-kg payload at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, achieving a maximum weight on the single center point cargo hook

Demo Flight

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, hosted a ‘first of its kind’ orientation flight in the CH-53K King Stallion for Brigadier General Nir Nin-Nun, Israeli Air Force, Commander, Air Support and Helicopter Division, during a test flight November 7.

Israeli General Given Demo Flight on CH-53K Helicopter
Israeli General Given Demo Flight on CH-53K Helicopter

The 90-minute orientation flight included various operational maneuvers, landings and takeoffs, providing Nin-Nun a firsthand look at the unique and capabilities of the CH-53K King Stallion available through full authority fly-by-wire flight controls.

«This is the first time we have flown an international ally in the CH-53K», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hank Vanderborght, program manager for the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters program office, PMA-261. «Flights like this give us an opportunity to strengthen relationships with our allies while sharing a taste of America’s next generation heavy lift helicopter».

The flight was arranged based on a government-to-government request from Brig. Gen. Nin-Nun and made possible through a contract modification between Sikorsky and NAVAIR.

«It was a great honor being hosted by the Marines and having a chance to fly on two outstanding platforms as we ramp up to decide on our future heavy lift», said Nin-Nun.

The orientation flight was conducted during an already planned test flight and piloted by Stephen McCulley, Sikorsky chief experimental test pilot. Prior to the flight, Brigadier General Nin-Nun completed a familiarization flight in the simulator and safety brief prior to take-off.

The two-day visit also included simulator flights, relevant program briefs, and a tour of the NAVAIR Internal Cargo Lab.

Currently, there are four Engineering Development and Manufacturing Model aircraft in test and one Ground Test Vehicle, which have logged more than 606 cumulative flight hours. Initial operational capability remains on pace for 2019 and is defined as having four aircraft, with combat-ready crews logistically prepared to deploy. The DOD’s program of record remains at 200 aircraft.

PMA-261 continually works with international partners through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to potentially meet the international partners’ heavy lift helicopter requirements. FMS aircraft increase the total aircraft procured above the program of record and will decrease the unit cost for all users.

With more than triple the payload capability and a 12-inch/30.5-cm wider internal cabin than its predecessor (CH-53E Super Stallion), the CH-53K’s payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from an internally loaded High Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or the European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, it can handle up to three independent external loads at once, which gives mission flexibility and system efficiency.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Presidential Helicopter

On August 3, Lockheed Martin announced the first flight of a VH-92A configured test aircraft in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program. The July 28 flight signals the start of the 250-hour flight test program, which will take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Owego, New York.

On July 28, the VH-92A configured test aircraft completed its first flight in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program
On July 28, the VH-92A configured test aircraft completed its first flight in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program

The aircraft achieved its first flight, and later that same day completed a second flight at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut. Total flight time for the two sorties was one hour and included hover control checks, low speed flight, and a pass of the airfield.

«This first flight of the VH-92A configured test aircraft is an important milestone for the program», said Spencer Elani, director VH-92A program at Sikorsky. «Having independently tested the aircraft’s components and subsystems, we are now moving forward to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight test program».

As the flight test program proceeds, this test aircraft (Engineering Development Model 1, or EDM-1) will be joined by an additional test aircraft (EDM-2) over the course of the 12-month flight test program. EDM-2 is on track for its first flight later this year.

The VH-92A aircraft is based on Sikorsky’s successful and FAA-certified S-92A commercial aircraft, which recently surpassed one million flight hours. The S-92A aircraft, assembled in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, is being modified to include integration of government-defined missions systems and an executive interior.

«With this successful first flight on the books, we look forward to completion of Sikorsky’s flight test program, operational testing and production of this aircraft to support the Office of the President of the United States», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential Helicopter’s Program Office.

The U.S. Navy awarded a $1.24 billion fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky on May 7, 2014. The EMD contract will produce a total of six aircraft: two test aircraft and four production aircraft. The production options for the remaining 17 aircraft will be finalized in FY19.

The VH-92A will enter into service in 2020. The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky brings unmatched experience and a proven track record to this mission having flown every U.S. commander-in-chief since President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A will continue this legacy for decades to come.

Flight Testing

On July 5, 2017, Lockheed Martin announced the CH-53K King Stallion program has successfully completed its first extended «cross country» flight from Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida, facility to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. This is the first of several such flights that will occur during 2017 and 2018 as the CH-53K flight test program transitions to the flight test facilities at Patuxent River (PAX).

The CH-53K King Stallion arrives at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River on June 30, 2017 (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)
The CH-53K King Stallion arrives at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River on June 30, 2017 (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter flew on June 30 from Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach to PAX, a distance of approximately 810 miles/1,307.6 km. Total flight time was six hours, with two en route fuel stops at Naval Air Station Mayport, Florida, and Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

«This first movement of CH-53K flight testing to our customer’s facility denotes that the aircraft have achieved sufficient maturity to begin transitioning the focus of the test program from envelope expansion to system qualification testing», said Doctor Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President, CH-53K Programs. «This has been the plan from the beginning and is another important step toward getting these fantastic aircraft into the hands of the U.S. Marine Corps».

The four CH-53K Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft have already completed more than 450 hours of flight testing at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, and continue to drive to the edges of the operational envelope with both internal and external loads. The flight test program will continue to operate as it has from the beginning under an Integrated Test Team (ITT) that is comprised of Sikorsky, U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) personnel. Testing will continue in both locations, West Palm Beach and Patuxent River throughout the transition period.

«Bringing the CH-53K flight test program to PAX is an exciting milestone; many of the employees dedicated to its advancement now have the opportunity to work right down the street from it», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters program, PMA-261.

In April, the CH-53K King Stallion Program successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) and achieved a Milestone C decision that approves funding for low rate initial production.

The CH-53K King Stallion provides unmatched heavy lift capability with three times the lift of the CH-53E Super Stallion that it replaces. With the increased payload capability and a 12-inch/30.5-centimetre wider internal cabin compared to the predecessor CH-53E Super Stallion, the CH-53K’s increased payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from multiple U.S. Air Force standard 463L pallets to an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or a European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, the CH-53K King Stallion can carry up to three independent external loads at once providing incredible mission flexibility and system efficiency.

The CH-53K King Stallion offers enhanced safety features for the warfighter. Safety is enhanced with full authority fly-by-wire flight controls and mission management that reduces pilot workload and enables the crew to focus on mission execution because the CH-53K King Stallion all but «flies itself». Features include advanced stability augmentation, flight control modes that include attitude command-velocity hold, automated approach to a stabilized hover, position hold and precision tasks in degraded visual environments, and tactile cueing that all permit the pilot to confidently focus on the mission at hand.

Further, the CH-53K King Stallion has improved reliability and maintainability that exceeds 89 percent mission reliability with a smaller shipboard logistics footprint than the legacy CH-53E Super Stallion.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The first six of the 200 Program of Record aircraft are under contract and scheduled to start delivery next year to the Marine Corps. Two additional aircraft, the first low rate initial production aircraft, are under long lead procurement for parts and materials, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

CH-53K King Stallion Flight Testing Begins Transition to Patuxent River NAS

Five-Year Contract

On June 30, 2017, the U.S. government and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, signed a five-year contract for 257 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters to be delivered to the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The multi-year contract will yield significant savings for the U.S. government compared with purchasing the same quantity across five separate annual agreements.

This image features the UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC
This image features the UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC

The «Multi-Year IX» contract for UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC aircraft marks the ninth multiple-year contract for Sikorsky and the U.S. government for H-60 helicopters. The contract value for expected deliveries is approximately $3.8 billion and includes options for an additional 103 aircraft, with the total contract value potentially reaching $5.2 billion. Actual production quantities will be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities. The deliveries are scheduled to begin in October of this year and continue through 2022.

The UH-60M/HH-60M helicopters are the latest and most modern in a series of Black Hawk variants that Sikorsky has been delivering to the Army since 1978. They provide additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, better handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, improved survivability, and improved producibility.

«Four decades of production, strong program execution and delivery on behalf of the warfighter, coupled with great affordability for the taxpayer, have been the cornerstones of this program», said Sam Mehta, President, Defense Systems and Services, Sikorsky. «This contract allows us to continue supporting the important missions the Black Hawk performs as the workhorse utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter in the U.S. Army inventory».

Colonel Billy Jackson, the Utility Helicopters Project Manager stated that, «This contract will provide our Army, sister services and allies with state-of-the-art modernized helicopters to complete crucial missions and save lives. Moreover, this effort will stabilize our manufacturing base and control long-term costs, and ultimately provide significant savings to the taxpayer».

Polish industry

On Monday, October 10, 2016, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz participated in a meeting with the production crew of Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o. – PZL Mielec.

Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stands before a Black Hawk helicopter at the PZL Mielec factory, where he announced an initial order for the aircraft. Delivery by the end of the year, however, means they will be bought off-the-shelf, with no Polish input
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stands before a Black Hawk helicopter at the PZL Mielec factory, where he announced an initial order for the aircraft. Delivery by the end of the year, however, means they will be bought off-the-shelf, with no Polish input

The head of the Defence Ministry also met with the management of PZL Mielec and visited the Aircraft Study and Testing Center (Pol.: Centrum Badań i Prób Statków Powietrznych).

«Later this week talks will begin, which will be concluded this year. (…) This year, the first helicopters will be delivered, allowing for exercises by our special forces to occur. This shows what potential Poland has, and what potential Mielec has», said the Defence Minister during a meeting with the employees of PZL Mielec.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and the Secretary of State in the Defence Ministry Bartosz Kownacki visited PZL Świdnik (Pol.: Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego PZL – Świdnik S.A.).

During the visit, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister met with the plant crew.

During her visit on Monday in Świdnik, Prime Minister Beata Szydło recalled that «The Program of Responsible Development» (Pol.: «Program na Rzecz Odpowiedzialnego Rozwoju») focuses on the reindustrialization and development of modern innovative technologies based on indigenous potential. «We want to rebuild Polish industry and give it a chance. We want it to become the «flywheel of development» in Poland and for Polish companies to have a chance to compete with the best in the world. This is the ambition of our Government», said the Prime Minister. «The basis for this industry is for it to be the supply source of the Polish Armed Forces», she added.

«The Polish Government must defend the best interest of the Polish State, and thus understood, is the supply of good and modern weaponry for our Armed Forces», stressed Prime Minister Beata Szydło. As she later added, «The priority of the government is for Poland to have new firms and factories producing, good, world-renowned equipment, including equipment for the army (…)», summing up.

«The interest of the security of the State requires that companies produce and service helicopters», said, in turn, the Deputy Minister of Defense Bartosz Kownacki, referring to the end of the offset talks regarding the Caracal helicopters.

«Since the terms of the offset (…) have not been met, since they did not meet the security interests of the State, we could not sign this agreement», added Mr. Bartosz Kownacki.

The Deputy Minister stressed that the negotiations could not continue indefinitely, because the needs of the armed forces require the providing of appropriate, modern helicopters in the earliest possible time frame.

Critical Design Review

Lockheed Martin on July 25 announced the successful execution of the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program Critical Design Review (CDR), signaling the program is ready to proceed to assembly, test and evaluation.

An artist rendering of the VH-92A aircraft
An artist rendering of the VH-92A aircraft

The joint Sikorsky/Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) VH-92A helicopter program team met in July with key collaborators from government and industry for an in-depth design review.

Throughout the review the VH-92A program team successfully demonstrated that the design meets the system requirements. Review participants included NAVAIR and industrial partners who took part in the technical presentations.

«This milestone is an important achievement for our program and demonstrates Sikorsky and NAVAIR are well aligned», said Spencer Elani, Sikorsky director, 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».

The U.S. Navy awarded a $1.24 billion fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky on May 7, 2014, for 21 operational and two test aircraft.

Initial fielding is planned for 2020, with production concluding in 2023. Under the contract, Sikorsky will use its production S-92 aircraft and integrate government defined mission systems and an executive interior.

«This is an important step forward in the replacement of our presidential fleet of helicopters. The successful CDR demonstrates this helicopter system meets the requirements of the USMC and gives them exceptional mission performance from a platform that is affordable and supportable for this important mission», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential Helicopter’s Program Office.

Two Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft are undergoing the modification process at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Conn., location. First flight of a VH-92A configured aircraft is planned for 2017.

The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky brings unmatched experience and a proven track record to this mission having flown every US commander-in-chief since President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A will continue this legacy for decades to come.

Armed Black Hawk

Lockheed Martin is exploring options to bring its weapons integration expertise to bear on the European S-70 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company. The goal is to produce an armed kit scalable to the requirements of customers that procure Black Hawk aircraft direct from Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow
Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow

«Last year’s acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin has widened the aperture of possibilities for arming the Black Hawk helicopter», said Bill Gostic, vice president, Sikorsky Global Military Systems & Services. «Lockheed Martin brings integration expertise that will allow us to customize an armed configuration – for defensive or offensive operations – to the specific preferences of current and future Black Hawk customers, and with weapons of their choice».

During the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, Lockheed Martin is displaying outside its pavilion an armed Black Hawk aircraft manufactured at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec factory in Poland, and with the cockpit section manufactured at Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic. The display represents the types of weapons Lockheed Martin can integrate onto the medium-lift military utility platform that’s renowned for its multirole capabilities.

Armed external wings on either side of the displayed aircraft feature a total of four weapons stations for fire suppression and elimination of armored targets, with launchers for a mix of Hellfire and Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) air-to-ground missiles, a 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod, and an FN Herstal Belgium manufactured rocket machine gun pod. For laser designating of a future weapons system, the aircraft’s cockpit chin features the INFIRNO sensor system.

Crew-served weapons inside the displayed aircraft include an FN Herstal .50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine gun mounted to the cabin floor, and window-mounted 7.62-mm mini-guns. The mini-guns can also swing into a fixed forward firing position to be for operated by the pilot.

Depending on the chosen weapons configuration, the cabin can seat troops for armed assault and close air support of ground troop missions. Alternatively, the cabin can store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods, and an internal 200 gallon/757 L auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range and endurance required for armed escort missions.

Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot
Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot