The U.S. Air Force awarded Sikorsky the combat rescue helicopter contract in June 2014. Lockheed Martin Photo
Lockheed Martin has announced the successful execution of the Combat Rescue Helicopter Program (CRH) air vehicle preliminary design review (PDR). This important review signals that the CRH program is proceeding with detailed design activities for the HH-60W air vehicle and logistics system.
In addition, the team will continue toward the CRH training systems preliminary design review in August, three months ahead of schedule.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and the United States Air Force (USAF) hosted a five-day meeting in April to gather stakeholders and key collaborators from government and industry for an in-depth review that demonstrated that the overall design meets the systems requirements setting the stage for the next phase of the program. Review participants included members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, both the USAF acquisition team and representatives of the USAF operational combat rescue community, as well as the Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin industry team and several other key suppliers.
“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, CRH program director. “Sikorsky and the USAF are well aligned in this collaboration effort and this successful PDR moves us closer to bringing this vital aircraft to the warfighter.
“Specifically, I am very proud of our team. They are not only operating to an accelerated schedule, but the preliminary design that we have achieved here has well prepared us for detailed aircraft design and subsequent production. Our Training team is also executing extremely well and will be conducting the PDR for the training system three months earlier than originally scheduled. This will further reduce our risk to achieving the USAF accelerated schedule for CRH and delivering this critical capability to the AF rescue crews faster,” he added.
“We are keenly aware that they are in combat every day, and that every day we can accelerate getting the HH-60W into their hands reduces the risks that they face on our nation’s behalf.”
The U.S. Air Force awarded Sikorsky the combat rescue helicopter contract in June 2014.
The $1.2 billion engineering manufacturing and development (EMD) contract includes development and integration of the next generation combat rescue helicopter and mission systems, including delivery of four HH-60W helicopters, as well as six aircrew and maintenance training systems. The training suite includes devices that span full motion simulators and discrete aircraft systems used for training, such as hoist and landing gear.
The USAF Program of Record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force’s rapidly aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which perform critical combat search-and-rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.
The HH-60W is an advanced variant of the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter design and features increased internal fuel capability, allowing for greater range, and an increase in cabin space. The CRH aircraft will feature T700- GE -701D engines, composite wide-cord main rotor blades and fatigue and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structures to sustain maneuverability at high density altitudes.
The design includes an advanced tactical mission kit integrating multiple sensors, data links, defensive systems, and other sources of intelligence information for use by combat rescue aircrews.
In 2015, the CRH program conducted the training system requirements review (SRR) and system functional review (SFR) as well as the air vehicle SFR and SRR.
“Achieving the air vehicle PDR milestone is pivotal for our program,” said J. David Schairbaum, USAF, system program manager, CRH. “Successful execution of the CRH program is essential to meet the continued demanding personnel recovery mission in today’s challenging operational environment. We are working closely with Sikorsky to assure this newly designed aircraft is delivered to the warfighter on schedule and within cost.”
Lockheed Martin will outfit the aircraft with its mission planning system, defensive systems, data links, mission computers, adverse weather sensors and system integration of all CRH-unique subsystems.