Lockheed Martin has announced the Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program achieved a Milestone C decision from the US Air Force, which moves the program into low rate initial production.
The Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter will perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all US military services.
The four instrumented test aircraft at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, demonstrated their production readiness during rigorous US Air Force (USAF) performance and flight load survey testing.
The joint Sikorsky and USAF flight test team has executed over 150 hours of envelope expansion flights, which provided USAF the data necessary to execute a Milestone C decision. This decision allows production of the aircraft to begin, which is based on the venerable Black Hawk helicopter.
There are five CRH aircraft in various stages of production at Sikorsky’s Stratford facility, with the USAF program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace its predecessor, the Sikorsky HH-60G PAVE Hawks.
Greg Hames, Sikorsky Program Director, said: “This affirmative Milestone C decision validates the modifications to Sikorsky’s most successful Black Hawk helicopter, making it capable of saving downed airmen anytime, anywhere around the world. This establishes the Combat Rescue Helicopter as a production program.”
image courtesy of Lockheed Martin
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