WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Two completely assembled Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters (CRH) will soon see their maiden flights as announced by Lockheed Martin on 27th February 2019, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
The test flights are scheduled to take place before the middle of this year at the Sikorsky West Palm Beach site in Florida with the new Tactical Mission Kit. The integration of sensors, radar, and multiple defence systems will bring added intelligence into the cockpit, enhancing pilots’ situational awareness to complete missions.
The two HH-60W CRH helicopters are being built for the needs of the U.S. Air Force. Last year, after they were finally assembled at Sikorsky’s facility in Stratford (Connecticut), the helicopters were transported to West Palm Beach. The System Configuration Test Readiness Review was completed by Sikorsky’s HH-60W team in October 2018. At the moment the CRH HH-60W flight test team is preparing both aircraft for flight by performing final installation of instrumentation and ground run testing.
The Sikorsky Director, Combat Rescue Helicopter Program, Greg Hames, commented, “Having these initial HH-60W helicopters in West Palm Beach for flight test is an exciting time for the Sikorsky team. It is the first step toward a low rate initial production decision later this year, which will allow Sikorsky to provide a constant production flow of aircraft to the warfighter. This is the point in the program when Sikorsky begins providing new aircraft into the warfighters’ hands, initiating transition to the vastly more capable and reliable HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter.”
The HH-60W features a new fuel system, which increases the capacity of the internal tank, giving the Air Force crew extended range and more capability in rescue missions.
Greg Hames added, “Our team is working every day to build and deliver a superior quality helicopter to the U.S. Air Force for this critical mission. Both Sikorsky and the Air Force remain committed to achieving a low rate initial production decision this year and getting this much-needed aircraft to our air men and women out in the field.”
Nine HH-60W CRH helicopters will be built in Connecticut during the EMD (Engineering Manufacturing Development) phase of the program ― 4 EMD aircraft and 5 System Demonstration Test Articles. The final goal of the Air Force program is 112 helicopters, which will replace its aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.
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Source: Lockheed Martin