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Air Platforms

AFA Winter 2020: Sikorsky performs HH-60W combat rescue helicopter component testing

28 February 2020
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The Sikorsky HH-60W Jolly Green 2 Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) on display on 27 February at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium. Source: Jane’s/Pat Host

Key Points

  • Sikorsky is testing HH-60W components to ensure they properly interact during envelope expansion
  • The company has just secured its second LRIP contract and is working on a full-rate production proposal

Sikorsky is testing how the components on its US Air Force (USAF) HH-60W Jolly Green 2 Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) interact with each other during envelope expansion to ensure that they provide real-time data to pilots and crew in a mission environment.

Gregory Hames, Sikorsky CRH director, told Jane's on 27 February at the Air Force Association's (AFA) Air Warfare Symposium that the USAF has asked the company to submit a full-rate production (FRP) proposal that would be due at the end of 2020 for FRP Lots 3-5. This comes after the company announced on 27 February that the USAF awarded Sikorsky a second low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract award, worth more than USD500 million, for an additional 12 aircraft in LRIP Lot 2. Hames said this contract was two months earlier than originally scheduled.

This now brings Sikorsky to a total of 32 HH-60Ws under contract for the CRH programme: four flying engineering development model (EDM) aircraft; five flying system development training aircraft (SDTA); one airframe system trainer; 10 LRIP Lot 1 helicopters; and 12 aircraft from the new LRIP Lot 2 contract award. These all follows the programme's Milestone C approval in September 2019.

Hames said seven aircraft are currently flying: one in Owego, New York; two at Duke Field at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; and four in West Palm Beach, Florida. Two other aircraft are in Connecticut: one is preparing for flight operations and the other is completing final assembly.

Hames said that the USAF awarding of the LRIP Lot 2 contract two months early "really demonstrates the collaboration and working relationship that Sikorsky has with the US Air Force".

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