Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., on October 27 announced the successful first flight of the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter prototype, known as Engineering Development Model-1 (EDM-1). The 30-minute flight signals the beginning of a 2,000-hour flight test program using four test aircraft.
«EDM-1’s first flight signifies another major milestone for the CH-53K helicopter program», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. «Having independently tested the aircraft’s many components and subsystems, including integrated system level testing on the Ground Test Vehicle, we are now moving on to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight test program».
Sikorsky delivered the EDM-1 into the test program at the company’s West Palm Beach, Florida-based Development Flight Center in late 2014. During its 30 minute maiden flight the EDM-1 aircraft performed hover, sideward, rearward and forward flight control inputs while in ground effect hover up to 30 feet above the ground. As the flight test program proceeds, the EDM-1 will be joined by an additional 3 EDM aircraft to fully expand the King Stallion’s flight envelope over the course of the three-year flight test program.
«We have entered a much anticipated phase in this developmental program», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for Heavy Lift Helicopters. «We have experienced significant learning at the system and sub-system levels, which continues to build our confidence in the capabilities of the 53K. With first flight behind us, we look forward to execution of the development and operational testing and the deployment of this incredible heavy lift capability to our warfighters».
Sikorsky, with support of others in the industry, is developing the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will maintain similar physical dimensions as its predecessor, the three-engine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, but will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km under «high hot» ambient conditions. Features of the CH-53K helicopter include a modern glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth-generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking, United States Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and improved reliability, maintainability and supportability.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K aircraft with an Initial Operational Capability in 2019. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.
Spirit AeroSystems has successfully delivered to Sikorsky the third fuselage section for the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program’s System Demonstration and Test Article (SDTA) contract. Consisting of an integrated cockpit and cabin structure with a separately attached tail section, the composite-skinned fuselage will enable prime contractor Sikorsky to begin assembling the third of four SDTA aircraft to further solidify the final production configuration of the CH-53K aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps.
«Spirit AeroSystems is pleased to be a major supplier to a new generation, heavy-lift helicopter capability for the Marine Corps», said Phil Anderson, Spirit senior vice president of Defense Programs. «The strong, lightweight composite structures we are providing to Sikorsky will in turn give the Marine Corps a much needed increase in payload capability».
Sikorsky came under contract to the U.S. Navy in 2013 to assemble and deliver the four SDTA aircraft by 2017 in support of the Marine Corps operational evaluation of the CH-53K platform. Spirit is on contract to deliver to Sikorsky the final SDTA fuselage unit later this year.
The U.S. Marine Corps will employ the four SDTA aircraft to verify the helicopter’s design capability to carry 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km under «high hot» ambient conditions, tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter.
On June 19, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. delivered six CH-148 Cyclone helicopters to the Canadian government during an acceptance celebration joined by Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney, Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Regional Ministers. Representing Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., was William Gostic, Vice President of the Maritime Helicopter Program (MHP), who hailed the event as «a major milestone for the Canadian Armed Forces, our industry partners, Sikorsky and all of our employees committed to this unique and highly sophisticated aircraft».
The six helicopters represent the first of 28 Cyclone aircraft that Sikorsky will deliver to the Canadian Armed Forces to perform a full range of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and utility missions in various environments. Sikorsky will introduce increased capabilities that will be phased in while the Royal Canadian Air Force determines operational strategy and more personnel are trained to fly and maintain the aircraft. More than 40 military personnel have completed initial training already. Completion of all deliveries and capability upgrades will enable replacement of the venerable Sea King fleet, also provided by Sikorsky, beginning in 2018.
«In addition to today’s deliveries, Sikorsky will continue developing and enhancing the capability of the Cyclone to meet all of Canada’s required operational capabilities. In our view, the CH-148 Cyclone will be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter», said Gostic. «In parallel to the development effort, Sikorsky and our Canadian partners are committed to delivering world class, in-service support of the Cyclone to the men and women who fly and maintain the aircraft. It is a privilege for us to serve the Canadian Armed Forces, and one we take with the highest sense of responsibility».
«Today is an exciting day as we take another significant step forward in the Cyclone project», said The Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defense, during the aircraft acceptance celebration at the Canadian Forces’ base in Shearwater. «I am confident this modern aircraft will improve our aviators’ and sailors’ ability to work together in defense of Canada from current and future threats».
The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, said, «Last year our government committed to delivering the first CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters, and I am pleased to be here today to see them now safely in the hands of the Canadian Armed Forces. This marks an important milestone in our Maritime Helicopter Project and demonstrates our commitment to equipping our men and women in uniform with state-of-the-art helicopters».
«Our government is committed to supporting our men and women in uniform across the country», said The Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. «With today’s announcement, this government is once again showing its support for our forces by providing them with the lifesaving equipment they need to do their challenging job protecting Canadians».
Sikorsky International Operations Inc., as the prime contractor for MHP, will build the CH-148 in Bridgeport, Connecticut and West Palm Beach, Florida. General Dynamics Canada Ltd. and L-3 MAS are principal sub-contractors to Sikorsky. Development of the mission data management system, integration testing of the integrated mission system and development of all shipboard and ground-based support systems will be performed by General Dynamics Canada Ltd. at their Ottawa and Calgary engineering facilities.
Two of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) MH-60R Seahawk helicopters were loaded onto a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17 at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, for delivery to their new home in Australia May 27, 2015. These two Seahawks mark the halfway point for the U.S. Navy’s foreign military sales agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia for training and production of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, which began in June 2011.
«As they come off the production line, the Australians have picked them up two at a time», said Commander Scott Stringer, HX-21 MH-60R government flight test director. «This is a multi-year plan that should carry into mid-2016. We are delivering brand new aircraft to the Australians. They still have that new car smell with very few flight hours».
RAN squadron 725 is in the process of establishing MH-60R operations at NAS Nowra, New South Wales. Later this year, HX-21 and RAN squadron 725 are scheduled to test unique modifications on the MH-60Rs. These modifications are based on unique RAN requirements and include the addition of an instrument landing system and a crash-survivable data recorder. The collaborative U.S. and RAN test and evaluation of the MH-60R modifications also allows for an open exchange of professional views and experiences.
Because of interoperability – how the two navies have trained and operated together – Stringer explained how he could foresee a U.S. Navy H-60 pilot seamlessly operating during a cross-deck tour on an Australian ship or vice versa.
«We have six people supporting the MH-60R acquisition and sustainment effort at Pax River and share office space with the RAAF Classic Hornet and Super Hornet sustainment team», said Commander Andrew Dawes, RAN MH-60R project resident team lead. «This is something we take a great deal of pride in and greatly appreciate the support that everyone at NAS Pax River is providing in this process».
The mission of HX-21 is to conduct the highest quality developmental flight test and evaluation of rotary-wing and tilt-rotor aircraft, airborne systems in support of all U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps training, operational combat and operational combat support missions.
MH-60R Seahawk (Romeo)
The MH-60R «Romeo» is the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine (ASW)/Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. Together with its sibling, the MH-60S «Sierra», the Seahawk variants have flown more than 650,000 hours across a 500+ aircraft fleet. The MH-60R Seahawk is deployed globally with the U.S. Navy fleet and a growing number of allied international navies.
The journey from the start of MH-60R Seahawk flight-testing through the first deployment, in 2009, of 11 MH-60R helicopters aboard the USS Stennis, represents 1,900 flight hours, the equivalent of 500 labor years, and a considerable financial commitment by Lockheed Martin.
The MH-60R Seahawk, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, and equipped with advanced mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (MST), is capable of detecting and prosecuting modern submarines in littoral and open ocean scenarios.
In addition, MH-60R Seahawk is capable of conducting stand-alone or joint Anti-Surface Warfare missions with other «Romeo» or MH-60S «Sierra» aircraft. Secondary missions include electronic support measures, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, and medical evacuation.
The advanced mission sensor suite developed and integrated by Lockheed Martin includes:
A weapons suite including torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
Lockheed Martin MST also produces the Common Cockpit avionics, fielded on both the MH-60R «Romeo» and MH-60S «Sierra». The 400th Common Cockpit will be installed on the first Royal Australian Navy MH-60R. In 2012, the Common Cockpit exceeded 600,000 flight hours across an operational fleet of 360 aircraft. The digital, all-glass cockpit features four large, flat-panel, multi-function, night-vision-compatible, color displays. The suite processes and manages communications and sensor data streaming into MH-60 multi-mission helicopters, presenting to the crew of three actionable information that significantly reduces workload while increasing situational awareness.
The U.S. Navy is committed to a long-term preplanned product improvement program, also known as P3I, to keep the MH-60R Seahawk current throughout its life. Recent upgrades have included vital software and mission management systems in the Situational Awareness Technology Insertion (SATI) package as well as design upgrades to the Identification Friend-or-Foe Interrogator Subsystem. Combined with the aircraft’s Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination system, the MH-60R’s range of detection will expand – enhancing situational awareness and advanced threat detection – while interference with civil air traffic control systems will diminish.
The MH-60R Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system, which provides aircrew with valuable threat-warning capabilities, has benefited from the installation and maintenance of an ESM autoloader, and the development of Mission Data Loads, which comprise a database of possible threats within a specific region of operations.
Smaller elements are included as well, including the integration of a new multi-function radio called the ARC210 Gen 5 (which sister-aircraft MH-60S «Sierra» will also receive), crucial spare assemblies and integration of other core technologies. The Gen 5 radio will provide MH-60R Seahawk aircrew with flexible and secure communication.
Survivability and crashworthiness are not just attributes of the Seahawk helicopter, they are inherent to the design. A strict military standard makes the Seahawk helicopter a rugged and extremely durable helicopter that delivers safety. Safety that has been proven in real missions, around the world. Some of our aircraft have over thirty years of service and continue to support operations in the most rigorous of environments known to man.
Marinized airframe structure for improved survivability
Multi-functional and durable cabin flooring
Two jettisonable cockpit doors
Single cabin sliding door
Recovery, Assist, Secure and Traverse (RAST) System
Automatic main rotor blade fold
Built-in work platforms, engine cowlings and hydraulic deck
External rescue hoist
6,000 lbs/2,721.55 kg external cargo hook
Active vibration control system
Enhanced Advanced Flight Control System (AFCS) with naval modules and coupled hover capability
Four 8×10 inch (20.3×25.4 cm) full color, night vision device capable, sunlight readable, multi-function mission and flight displays
Secure Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) communication
Ballistically tolerant transmission and drive system
ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures
Integrated avionics with 1553 data bus
Environmental control system
64.83 feet/19.76 m
53.66 feet/16.35 m
16.70 feet/5.10 m
41.05 feet/12.51 m
11.00 feet/3.37 m
12.92 feet/3.94 m
Main rotor diameter
53.66 feet/16.35 m
Tail rotor diameter
11.00 feet/3.35 m
10.8 feet/3.2 m
6.1 feet/1.8 m
4.4 feet/1.3 m
65 feet2/6.0 m2
299 feet3/8.5 m3
Powerplant and fuel system
Number of Engines
Maximum Take Off
3,426 shp/2,554 kW
One Engine Inoperative Shaft horsepower
1,911 shp/1,425 kW
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight
23,500 lbs/10,682 kg
Mission Gross Weight (Surface Warfare)
21,290 lbs/9,657 kg
Mission Endurance (Surface Warfare)
180 knots/207 mph/333 km/h
Maximum Cruise Speed
144 knots/166 mph/267 km/h
Hovering In Ground Effect (HIGE) Ceiling
14,847 feet/4,525 m
Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Ceiling
9,945 feet/3,031 m
All Engine Operable (AEO) Service Ceiling
11,282 feet/3,438 m
Anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, 50 cal. guns
Lieutenant Eugene Cleary, Royal Australian Navy, describes this «formidable ASW and Anti-surface platform». Designed for maritime dominance and deployed with the U.S. Navy, the MH-60R Seahawk is the world’s most advanced multi-mission helicopter. The «Romeo» has also been selected by the Royal Danish Navy
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, on May 22 announced the successful first flight of the S-97 Raider helicopter, a rigid coaxial rotor prototype designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination of maneuverability, hover ability, range, speed, endurance and survivability. The first flight was conducted at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC) where the two-prototype Raider helicopter test program is based.
«Sikorsky has a long tradition of pioneering new aviation technologies including the first practical helicopter. Today’s first flight of the S-97 Raider represents the latest leap forward for Sikorsky, our customers, and the rotorcraft industry», said Sikorsky President Bob Leduc. «The industry has demanded high performance and high value from the products that execute critical missions, and, today, the Raider has given us an exciting look at the future of vertical flight».
During the first test flight, which lasted approximately one hour, S-97 Raider Pilot Bill Fell and Co-Pilot Kevin Bredenbeck took the aircraft through a series of maneuvers designed to test the aircraft’s hover and low-speed capability. With first flight achieved, the Raider now moves into more progressive flight-testing to demonstrate key performance parameters critical to future combat operations including armed reconnaissance, light assault, light attack and special operations. The Raider program is part of the portfolio of Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization within Sikorsky Aircraft’s Research & Engineering division.
«It is the Sikorsky Innovations charter to identify the toughest challenges in vertical flight, and to demonstrate solutions to them», said Mark Miller, Vice President of Research & Engineering. «Getting an all-new aircraft into flight, especially one with game-changing capabilities, is a remarkable feat. With this first flight of the S-97 Raider helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft is proving once again that the tough challenges will always propel us forward».
«This exemplifies the very DNA of Sikorsky Aircraft: to explore, to challenge, to pioneer, and in doing so, to ultimately change what is possible for our customers», Miller said. «It is exciting that the S-97 Raider helicopter leverages a mix of evolutionary rotorcraft technologies that, when combined in this new way, results in revolutionary capability».
Sikorsky launched the S-97 Raider helicopter program in September 2010, with objectives of maturing the Collier-Award winning X2 rotorcraft configuration and demonstrating a helicopter that meets current U.S. Army special operations and armed reconnaissance needs, while maturing technologies for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The program is 100 percent industry-funded by Sikorsky Aircraft and its 53 industry partners.
Based on the X2 coaxial rotor design, the Raider helicopter is capable of being developed into a unique multi-mission configuration that is able to carry six troops and external weapons. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller are expected to provide cruise speeds up to 240 knots/276 mph/444 km/h.
«Based on the capabilities that were demonstrated today, Sikorsky is positioned to develop the S-97 Raider helicopter’s game-changing capabilities to enable helicopter forces to out-perform on the battleground of tomorrow», said Samir Mehta, President of Sikorsky Defense Systems & Services. «With the Raider aircraft’s unmatched combination of speed, maneuverability and acoustic signature, Sikorsky Aircraft is ideally positioned to provide the military with essential mission-specific capabilities. With this flight, we have started the demonstration of solutions to not only near-term capability gaps but also solutions for future vertical lift needs».
The second S-97 Raider helicopter prototype is on track to complete final assembly in 2015. A demonstration tour of the Raider helicopter is planned for 2016.
Low acoustic signature
Exceptional hover capability
High cruise speed
Agility for close air support
Fly-by-wire flight controls
Multi-Mission for Operational Flexibility
Internal aux fuel tank for extended range/increased endurance
Additional ammunition capacity
Six seat cabin
Aerial refueling capable
Maximum gross weight: 11,400 lbs/5,171 kg
HOGE* capability: >6K/95
Endurance (standard fuel): >2.7 h
Range: >373 miles/600 km
Cruise speed: >240 knots/276 mph/444 km/h
C-17 loadout: 4 aircraft
70-mm 2.75″ rockets
12,7-mm .50 cal gun
* HOGE – Hover-Out of Ground Effect. This is the absolute limit of the helicopter’s ability to hover. Factors that contribute to this limit are density altitude, atmospheric temperature, available engine torque, and payload.
The S-97 Raider helicopter successfully achieved its first flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 22. Congratulations to Chief Pilot Bill Fell, Co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck and the entire Raider team
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., recently hosted more than two dozen guests, including delegates from NATO’s Joint Capability Group Vertical Lift (JCGVL), for an up close look at the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The group toured Sikorsky’s Florida Assembly & Flight Operations Center where they were able to walk along the production lines for both the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter and Black Hawk H-60M aircraft.
The delegates also had the opportunity to visit Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC), site of full system testing of the heavy lift helicopter. The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground. The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft.
The visit wrapped up with delegates getting a chance to see the first of two prototypes of the S-97 Raider helicopter, developed by Sikorsky to demonstrate the military application of Sikorsky’s X2 Technology. A second Raider prototype will serve as a demonstrator aircraft, offering key customers an opportunity to experience the capabilities of X2 Technology first hand. The Raider helicopter is a rigid coaxial rotor prototype aircraft ideally suited for armed reconnaissance and a wide range of special operations missions. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller provide cruise speeds beyond 220 knots/253 mph/407 km/h, more than double the speed of conventional helicopters in this size class.
The visit to Sikorsky was part of the delegation’s semi-annual meeting taking place in West Palm Beach, Florida.
«We are delighted that our honored NATO guests can be here in West Palm Beach to experience, first-hand, our energy and enthusiasm for our CH-53K aircraft», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. «The CH-53K King Stallion is destined to fulfill a significant role in the international heavy lift arena for decades to come».
NATO Committee Chairman Hans-Peter Mueller said the visit provided an opportunity to see the CH-53K helicopter in full scale and appreciate its capabilities. «We thank Sikorsky for its hospitality. The delegates enjoyed the informative tour and recognize the value of spending time with the designers and engineers building this heavy lift helicopter», said Mueller.
Sikorsky leads an industry team developing the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The aircraft’s 88,000-pound/39,916 kg maximum gross weight is designed to triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft to more than 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles/204 km under «high hot» ambient conditions.
U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hank Vanderborght, H-53 Program Manager at the Naval Air Systems Command, said the CH-53K helicopter program will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material and more rapidly using proven and mature technologies. «Our allies will benefit from the U.S. Marine Corps investment in this next generation heavy lift platform», said Col. Vanderborght. «The CH-53K represents not just the continuation of heavy lift capability but a transformation of what we can do to ensure the Marine Corps remains the most ready force».
Sikorsky continues to conduct tests on four flight test aircraft at its facilities in West Palm Beach and Stratford, Connecticut.
Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion
The CH-53K model will be the world’s premier heavy lift helicopter, leveraging the lessons learned over 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with Sikorsky CH-53A/D/E predecessors. Built to thrive in the modern battlefield, the extremely capable CH-53K aircraft will be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable across the full spectrum of operating conditions for which it was designed. Expeditionary in nature, the CH-53K aircraft will be fully shipboard compatible and capable of operating from austere and remote forward operating bases. The CH-53K helicopter is the Marine Corps’ critical land and sea based logistics connector.
Number of Engines
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
141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
460 NM/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
30 feet/9.1 m
9 feet/2.7 m
6.5 feet/2.0 m
264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3
* All Engines Operating
** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect
*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect
New build hybrid composite airframe structure – provides lighter weight and lower vibration throughout aircraft life
Large composite sponsons
Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS)
Advanced drive system
Improved fuel system with refueling probe
Enhanced ballistic protection
Crashworthy retracting landing gear
Single, dual and triple cargo hook with 3 times the lift capability of the CH-53E to 110 NM/204 km (in hot/high conditions)
Advanced light weight armor to protect passengers and crew
Crashworthy troop seats
Integrated Mobile Aircrew Restraint System (IMARS)
Integral cargo handling system with rated capacity for two 463L pallets
Avionics and Flight Controls
Rockwell Collins Avionics Management System
Fly-by-wire flight controls
Pilot/co-pilot/crew chief/4th crew
FLIR with helmet-mounted navigational displays
Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE)
Powerplant and fuel system
Three T408-GE-400 engines with less fuel consumption, more power and fewer parts than its predecessor, the T64
Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with pneumatic start
Integral EAPPS – Engine Air Particle Protection System
Rotor and drive system
4th Generation Composite main rotor blades with advanced airfoils
New tail rotor head and blades
Elastomeric main rotor head
Automatic blade fold
Advanced drive system with a split torque design main gearbox
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Slovakia for UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 18, 2015.
The Government of Slovakia has requested a possible sale of:
9 UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters in standard U.S. Government configuration with designated unique equipment and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE);
20 T700-GE-701D Engines (18 installed and 2 spares);
20 Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation Systems;
2 Aviation Mission Planning Systems;
1 Aviation Ground Power Unit;
11 AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe Transponders;
20 Very High Frequency (VHF)/Digitally Selective Calling AN/ARC-231 radios;
11 ARN-147 VHF Omni Ranging/Instrument Landing System (VOR/ILS);
11 AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Systems;
11 AN/ARC-201D Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems radios.
Also included are aircraft warranty, ammunition, air worthiness support, facility construction, spare and repair parts, support equipment, communication equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, site surveys, tool and test equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related element of program and logistics support. The estimated cost is $450 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally.
The proposed sale will improve Slovakia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense, as well as support counter-terrorism operations. The sale of these UH-60 helicopters will bolster Slovakia’s ability to provide border patrol, rapid reaction, and field expedient firefighting capability for its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism, border security, and humanitarian operations. Slovakia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors will be the Sikorsky Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut; and General Electric Aircraft Company in Lynn, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of an additional three U.S. Government and five contractor representatives in Slovakia to support the delivery and training for approximately two-five years.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter
The UH-60M helicopter culminates more than 30 years of technological advancement, improved performance and real world experience. This advanced Black Hawk aircraft serves dependably in the most extreme conditions found on earth. With the integration of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems and automated aircraft health monitoring, the UH-60M provides superior vertical lift and is the «intelligent» choice for the battlefield of tomorrow.
Primary Function: Personnel recovery in hostile conditions and military operations other than war in day, night or marginal weather
Contractor: United Technologies/Sikorsky Aircraft Company
Length: 64 feet 8 in/17.1 m
Height: 16 feet 8 in/4.4 m
Rotor Diameter: 53 feet 7 in/14.1 m
Fuel Capacity: 4,500 pounds/2,041 kg
Payload: depends upon mission
Armament: Two 7.62-mm or .50 caliber machineguns
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer and 1 gunner
Initial operating capability: 1982
Unit Cost: $40.1 million
Inventory: Active force, 67; ANG, 17; Reserve, 15
Powerplant and fuel system
Number of Engines: 2
Engine Type: T700-GE-701D
Maximum Take Off: 3,988 shp/2,974 kW
OEI Shaft horsepower (30 sec): 1,940 shp/1,447 kW
Crew @ total weight: 4 @ 980 lbs/444.5 kg
Troops @ weight/each: 11 @ 290 lbs/131.5 kg
Cargo hook capacity: 9,000 lbs/4082 kg
Weight empty: 12,511 lbs/5,675 kg
Primary mission gross weight: 19,398 lbs/8,799 kg
Maximum Gross Weight: 22,000 lbs/9,979 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed*: 151 knots/174 mph/280 km/h
Maximum Range – No Reserve: 276 NM/317.5 miles/511 km
Vertical Rate of Climb, feet per minute
16,800 lbs/7,620 kg, 4000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F, 95% IRP**: 1,553
18,000 lbs/8,165 kg, 4000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F, 95% IRP**: 941
HIGE*** Ceiling: 10,520 feet/3,206 m
HOGE**** Ceiling: 6,010 feet/1,831 m
OEI***** Service Ceiling: 6,500 feet/1,981 m
AEO****** Service Ceiling: 15,180 feet/4,626 m
* 16,800 lbs/7,620 kg, 4,000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F @ 100% MCP (Mode Control Panel)
** Intermediate Rated Power
*** Hovering In Ground Effect
**** Hovering Out of Ground Effect
***** One Engine Inoperative
****** All Engines Operating
Cabin Length: 12.6 feet/3.8 m
Cabin Width: 7.7 feet/2.3 m
Cabin Height: 4.5 feet/1.3 m
Cabin Area: 88 feet2/8.1 m2
Cabin Volume: 396 feet3/11.2 m3
Baggage Volume: 20 feet3/0.5 m3
Machined cabin structure
Multi-functional and durable 300 psi cabin flooring
Crashworthy Pilot and co-Pilot seats
Two sliding cargo doors with pop-out egress windows
Two jettisonable cockpit doors
Three point dual OLEO landing gear with kneeling capability
Active vibration control system
Wire strike protection system
Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS)
Foldable tail pylon for shipping and storage
Built-in work platforms, engine cowlings and hydraulic deck
Four-axis fully coupled flight director
Dual embedded global positioning
Two UHF/VHF AM/FM radios
Five digital ICS stations
Automatic direction finder
VOR/ILS (VHF Omni Ranging/Instrument Landing System)
Dual digital flight control computer
Powerplant and fuel system
Two T700-GE701D engines
Auxiliary power unit
Dual crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, 360 gallons/1362.75 L
Left and right gravity refuel ports
Single point for close circuit and pressure refueling
According to Jaroslaw Adamowski, DefenseNews.com correspondent, Poland’s Ministry of Defense has obtained three offers in its much-awaited tender to acquire some 70 new helicopters for the country’s armed forces. The bidders include:
PZL-Swidnik – a Poland-based subsidiary of AgustaWestland.
«The next phase of the tender will be to perform an analysis of the submitted documents by the commission which is carrying out this procedure, and to select the best offer and test the helicopter», Col. Jacek Sonta, the spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, said in a statement.
A consortium led by Airbus Helicopters is offering the EC-725, while Sikorsky wants to supply its S70i Black Hawk, and AgustaWestland is offering the AW-149.
The Airbus Helicopters EC-725 Caracal (also named Super Cougar) is a long-range tactical transport helicopter developed from the Super Puma/Cougar family for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29-seated troops along with 2 crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties, and is similar to the civilian EC-225.
The Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk is an international military version assembled by Sikorsky subsidiary, PZL-Mielec in Poland. It was developed for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, winning a competition to be designated the UH-60 Black Hawk and spawning a large family in United States military service. New and improved versions of the UH-60 have been developed since. Civilian versions and some military versions of this medium transport/utility helicopter are produced under various S-70 model designations.
The AgustaWestland AW149 is a medium-lift military helicopter being developed by AgustaWestland. On 20 June 2011, AgustaWestland announced the AW189, a civilian development of the AW149, for service in 2013.
The new helicopters are designed to replace the Polish military’s Soviet-designed Mil Mi-8, Mi-14 and Mi-17 old helicopters.
Local newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported that the planned deal is estimated to be worth up to 10 billion zloty ($2.8 billion).
According to the ministry, the helicopters are to be supplied in three variants, including:
«Following the signature of an offset deal, it will become possible for us to sign a contract for the delivery of the helicopters. Under the plan, this will happen in the second half of 2015», Sonta said.
As I mentioned earlier, India is clearly moving away from the Russian arms market. The Indian government decided to mass-produce the new main battle tank Arjun instead of buying Russian T-90. The Indian Air Force announced the French Air Fighter as the preferred bidder in the competition with the Su-30MKI and contracted for 126 Rafales, services, and parts could be worth as much as $20 billion. In fine, the latest P-8I Neptune (Indian version of Boeing P-8 Poseidon) delivery was part of an eight-aircraft contract worth $2.1 billion awarded in January 2009 to replace India’s ageing Russian Tupolev Tu-142Ms.
In light of the above, the last post by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. looks like a logical continuation of this clear trend. Namely, India’s Navy has selected Sikorsky to fulfill the service’s Multi-Role Helicopter requirement for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW), among other maritime roles. Negotiations will now begin to procure 16 S-70B Seahawk helicopters, with an option for 8 additional aircraft, along with a complete logistics support and training program (Source: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.).
«India’s selection of the S-70B helicopter represents a major strategic win for Sikorsky in an important growth market, and positions us well for future opportunities», said Mick Maurer, President of Sikorsky Aircraft. «We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the Indian Government and local industry as we work to bring the Indian Navy the highly advanced multi-role S-70B aircraft».
The proposed Indian Navy S-70B helicopter variant will include avionics and flexible open architecture Weapons Management Systems that integrate an advanced sonar, 360-degree search radar, modern air-to-surface missiles, and torpedoes for the ASW role. A blade and tail fold capability will facilitate shipboard storage.
The new S-70B aircraft will also enhance the Indian Navy’s capabilities to perform non-combat maritime roles, including search and rescue, utility and external cargo lift, surveillance and casualty evacuation.
Sikorsky has fielded increasingly more capable variants of the S-70B helicopter since 1984 for navies that prefer to acquire a modern, fully integrated ASW/ASuW platform direct from the manufacturer. Now operational in 6 countries (in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America), the S-70B platform has a solid reputation for highly reliable shipboard operations and maintenance while operating aboard frigates and larger naval vessels. The S-70B aircraft is part of Sikorsky’s Seahawk helicopter family (including the SH-60 and MH-60 models) that has accumulated almost 4 million flight hours from more than 800 operational aircraft, and is considered one of the safest platforms available.
At the same time, it should be noted that some Navy experts consider this contract as a rather «strange» deal. The fact is that India didn’t procure the latest MH-60R production standard like other navies. Instead, India’s Navy has elected to go for a direct commercial purchase of S-70B helicopters. Thus, India has lost all benefiting from a standard configuration, a larger component and spares pool, and the financial and sustainment advantages of the Foreign Military Sales channel, which has been used for India’s other recent large arms purchases from the US.
I can give as an assumption that India’s Navy is going to use the S-70B platform with flexible open architecture for specific purposes. Based on the Sikorsky S-70B, Indian engineers can create helicopters with original avionics and weapons systems.