Sikorsky to Build CH-53K Operational Test Helicopters for US Navy

Sikorsky to Build CH-53K Operational Test Helicopters for US Navy
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has received a $435 million U.S. Navy contract to build four production-representative CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. Designated as System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA), the four aircraft will enable the Marines to conduct operational evaluation of the new helicopter system in support of Initial Operational Capability in 2019.

“The four SDTA aircraft are based on the configuration of the fourth and final flight test aircraft currently being assembled on the prototype production line,” said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. “We truly appreciate the high level of confidence the Navy and Marine Corps have shown to the CH-53K team as we move forward with this important next phase of the program.”

The Navy has included the SDTA helicopters as an additional line item under the existing $3.5 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract initially awarded to Sikorsky in April 2006. The contract schedule requires that Sikorsky deliver the first SDTA aircraft in 39 months, and the fourth by the end of March 2017, when the Marines will begin operational evaluation. The contract’s cost-plus-incentive fee arrangement incentivizes Sikorsky to deliver early. Sikorsky will perform final assembly of the SDTA aircraft at the company’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in West Palm Beach.

To date, Sikorsky has delivered two of the seven SDD CH-53K aircraft – the Ground Test Vehicle and the Static Test Article – into the test program, and is finalizing assembly of the four flight test aircraft and the Fatigue Test Article. First flight of a CH-53K prototype aircraft is expected in late 2014.

Once the SDTA aircraft enter operational evaluation in 2017, the Marine Corps will verify the CH-53K helicopter’s capability to carry 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “high hot” ambient conditions, nearly tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion™ helicopter.

Technology enablers for increased lift include three 7,500-shaft-horsepower GE38-1B engines; a split torque transmission design that more efficiently distributes engine power to the main rotors; fourth-generation composite rotor blades for enhanced lift; and a composite airframe structure for reduced weight.

“The SDTA contract represents an exciting and significant milestone in our program,” said Col. Robert Pridgen, the Heavy Lift Helicopters program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command. “We are well on our way to making the CH-53K a reality for our Marines and our Naval fleet. The capability this aircraft brings, in every clime and place, is critical to sustaining the future missions of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force. The future of heavy lift is bright.”

Per the current program of record, the Navy intends to order an additional 196 CH-53K aircraft as part of a separate production contract to stand up eight operational squadrons and one training squadron to support the Marine Corps’ operational requirements. 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.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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Colombia to expand S-70i fleet with new order

Colombia’s army is to expand its fleet of five Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters, with a further two of the Polish-built aircraft to be delivered late this year.

A first batch of five S-70is arrived at Tolemaida air base in Colombia on 30 January, at the end of delivery flights performed from Sikorsky’s Hartford site in Connecticut. The aircraft had been equipped with customer-specific equipment at the US location, after being built in Mielec, Poland.

 

 

Sikorsky

“The [new] aircraft are expected to be delivered by October 2013,” Sikorsky says.

Additional S-70i BLACK HAWK Helicopters for Colombian Army

black hawk

Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (UTX) announced today at the LAAD Defence & Security International Exhibition that the Colombian Army has contracted to buy two additional S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopters. The two aircraft will augment five S-70i helicopters that arrived January 30 in Colombia to join the Special Forces of the Colombian Army’s Air Assault Division.

“We thank the Colombian Armed Forces for their continued confidence in Sikorsky and the S-70i variant of the BLACK HAWK helicopter,” said Jennifer Caruso, Sikorsky Vice President of Army and Air Force Programs. “We are pleased once again to be able to respond quickly to the request for new aircraft.”

Like the five previous multi-mission aircraft, the two new aircraft will feature dual GPS/INS system and digital map for accurate navigation and enhanced situational awareness. The aircraft will be custom-equipped with a rescue hoist and an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System that will monitor the aircrafts’ engines, transmission and rotors. The contract also includes ground support equipment, spares and technical training.

The aircraft are expected to be delivered by October 2013, and then flown by Colombian aircrew to the Army Special Operation Aviation Military base in Tolemaida.

Sold directly by Sikorsky to international militaries and government agencies, the S-70i helicopter delivers the same power and lift performance as S-70M BLACK HAWK aircraft. The S-70i model can be customized easily by Sikorsky to specific mission needs, to include radar, ballistic protection, medical litters, extended range fuel tanks, an external rescue hoist, and cargo hook among other features.

Colombia is the first South American country to buy the S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter variant. The Colombian National Police, Colombian Air Force, and Colombian Army also operate 96 UH-60L BLACK HAWK helicopters.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.