Sikorsky is beginning the final assembly of the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter
Final assembly includes installation of the new Tactical Mission Kit (TMK), with sensors, radar and multiple defence systems that will add intelligence into the cockpit to facilitate pilots making split second decisions to complete the mission. It also involves installation of a new fuel system that features dual internal fuel tanks totalling 660 gallons, thus doubling the capacity of the internal tank on a UH-60M Black Hawk and enhancing US Air Force range and capability to rescue those injured in the battle space.
“The HH-60W will be the most thoroughly networked and connected vertical lift platform ever produced, bringing unrivalled capability in high-threat environments,” said Tim Healy, Director of Sikorsky Air Force Programmes. “The modern battle space is an unforgiving place, no one survives on their own, and the HH-60W allows the entire suite of air and space power to be linked and employed in support of combat rescue operations, even in deep and denied territory.”
The US Air Force programme of record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force’s aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all US military services. The $1.5 billion Engineering Manufacturing Development and System Demonstration Test Articles contract includes development and integration of the next generation combat rescue helicopter and mission systems, including delivery of nine HH-60W helicopters as well as six aircrew and maintenance training devices, and instructional courseware designed specifically for the HH-60W aircraft. Sikorsky successfully conducted the training systems design review in September.