U.S. Navy MH-60R Helicopter Completes Significant Developmental Test Phase
OWEGO, NY, 08-JUL-03 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], the prime systems integrator for the MH-60R helicopter, completed a significant developmental test phase in June, which qualifies the aircraft to enter technical evaluation in October 2003. The testing was conducted by the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Caribbean. The team completed nearly 533 hours during the test period, which began this past October.
In the last phase of developmental testing, the MH-60R demonstrated the advanced mission capabilities that will define the next era in naval helicopter aviation and provide U.S. Navy aircrews an unsurpassed warfighting system, said Jeff Bantle, vice president Multi Mission Solutions. We look forward to the next phase of testing, which will bring the MH-60R significantly closer to operational deployment.
Some of the testing was follow-up work to previous evaluations on the multimode radar, electronic surveillance measures (ESM) systems and acoustics systems, which included sonobuoys and dipping sonar testing. These tests resulted in successful entrance into an operational assessment phase by U.S. Navy Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VX-1), at NAS Patuxent River, MD, that will be completed in August.
The developmental test period allowed the operator to fully exercise the entire system and to simulate a real-world environment. Data fusion and weapons, such as MK-46, MK-50, torpedoes and Hellfire missiles, were among the new systems tested. The testing culminated with successful launches for all weapons as well as instrument meteorological certification (IMC) for the cockpit. The IMC-certified MH-60R cockpit uses identical hardware and software to the MH-60S platform, which was certified in 2001. Full cockpit certification allows the Navy to realize the benefits of training and logistics support across the common hardware and software system it shares with the MH-60S.
The MH-60 platform is the centerpiece of the U.S. Navy's Helicopter Concept of Operations (CONOPS), which outlines the plan to reduce the number of platforms needed to fulfill the
Navy's helicopter missions from the seven platforms currently in service to two, the MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego developed the common cockpit and architecture for the MH-60S and the MH-60R aircrafts. The commonality between platforms will increase pilot interoperability, simplify the Navy's helicopter inventory and reduce training and logistics costs by as much as 50 percent. The common avionics will expand the mission capabilities of the MH-60 platform to include vertical replenishment, armed helo and airborne mine countermeasures.
With more than 30 years of experience as the prime systems integrator for United States and foreign military maritime helicopter programs, Lockheed Martin has partnered with most major airframe manufacturers and delivered more than 300 maritime helicopters worldwide. Lockheed Martin currently provides systems integration work on the U.S. Navy SH-60B, United Kingdom's Royal Navy Merlin, U.S. Air Force HH-60D combat search and rescue helicopter; Army Special Operations MH-60K and MH-47E aircraft; Air Force Special Operations MH-53M and the Spanish Navy SH-60B MKIII helicopters.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, NY, is the prime systems integrator and total support provider for multi-mission maritime weapons systems and avionics. Its Multi-Mission Solutions business follows a proven path of structured engineering, open systems architecture and commercial-off-the-shelf technology.