Lockheed Martin plans to begin test flying the first upgraded Sikorsky SH-60R prototype in September and has been awarded a $154 million follow-on contract to modify a second pair of helicopters with the new multi-mission sensor and avionics suite.

Sikorsky has delivered the first upgraded SH-60B to systems integrator Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Owega, New York, and will deliver the second this month. "We have all the equipment for the first aircraft in hand, including the radar delivered in the last two weeks," says Jim Hargrave, Lockheed Martin vice-president, navy helicopter programmes.

The helicopter is being fitted with a Telephonics APS-170 synthetic aperture radar, Raytheon/Thomson-CSF AQS-22 dipping sonar, AYK-14 mission processor and UYS-2 acoustic processor. Lockheed Martin is developing the ALQ-210 electronic support measures for installation in 2000. The cockpit will also be upgraded and feature systems common to the CH-60S utility machine.

Phase two of the engineering manufacturing development contract requires delivery of the second two test helicopters in late 2001, which will be fitted with the Raytheon ASS-44 forward looking infrared imager and have a full weapons and self protection capability. The first of 250 remanufactured SH-60Rs are scheduled for delivery by late 2002.

Source: Flight International