USAF combat helicopter program completes design review

STRATFORD, Conn. The U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program passed the the Air Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR), which prepares the program to proceed to assembly, test, and evaluation of the HH-60W helicopter. The CRH and USAF teams will meet again in September for the Training Systems Critical Design Review.

The joint Sikorsky and U.S. Air Force (USAF) helicopter program team met in May with partners from government and industry for an in-depth design review. Throughout the review, the CRH team presented a design that participants were confident would meet .

In preparation for the , the joint team generated more than 300 technical documents, created and reviewed over 50,000 hardware and software requirements, conducted 17 sub-system CDRs and designed 3,000 new parts.

"The joint team did an outstanding job in documenting the design of the HH-60W," says Jim Andrews, Sikorsky CRH chief engineer. "We are excited to enter the build phase as the team has leveraged digital design tools to generate manufacturing efficiencies that will reduce cost and schedule. This approach will lead ultimately to the HH-60W becoming the first Black Hawk derivative to have a paperless assembly line."

USAF officials selected Sikorsky for the $1.28 billion Engineering Manufacturing & Development (EMD) contract in June 2014. It includes development and integration of the next generation combat rescue platform and mission systems, delivery of four HH-60W helicopters, aircrew and maintenance training systems, and support for both.

In January of 2017, the USAF exercised a $203 million contract option with Sikorsky to provide five additional aircraft, bringing the total to nine. The training suite includes devices that span full-motion and discrete aircraft systems, such as hoist and landing gear.

The USAF Program of Record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force's HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.

Read more on airborne platforms:
Boeing upgrades radar on Saudi Arabia's AWACS fleet
Robotic copilot virtually flies, lands simulated Boeing 737
Lockheed Martin will deliver Sniper targeting pods for Kuwaiti air force

Topics covered in this article