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AEROSPACE
Digital cockpits for UH-60L Black Hawks
by Richard Tomkins
Woodland Hills, Calif. (UPI) Aug 17, 2013


Navy contracts GE Aviation for helicopter engines
Lynn, Mass. (UPI) Aug 18, 2013 - GE Aviation has been tapped by the U.S. Navy to manufacture and support engines for use on CH-53K helicopters being developed by Sikorsky Aircraft.

The System Demonstration Test Article contract for 16 GE38-1B engines is worth $68.5 million and runs to 2017, the company said.

"The contract builds on the success of the System Design and Development contracts with Sikorsky dating back to 2006, which covered engine factory qualification testing and the delivery of 20 flight test engines to support the technical evaluation phase of the CH-53K program," it said.

"The GE38 engine will give the CH-53K helicopter the power to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot weather conditions, nearly triple the external load carrying capacity of the service's current CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft."

GE Aviation said parts for the engines will be supplied by its supply chain facilities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Kentucky, Ohio and Florida.

GE is part of an industry team that is assembling prototype CH-53K King Stallion aircraft for first flight later this year.

Hundreds of U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters with cockpit analog gauge displays are to receive a digital upgrade from Northrop Grumman.

The system to be supplied and integrated onto the aircraft under a contract from Redstone Defense Systems features a centralized processor with a partitioned, modular operational flight program.

Northrop Grumman said it has an integrated architecture for addition of new capabilities through software-only solutions.

"We are committed to this critical upgrade program that will prolong the life of the UH-60 while keeping warfighters safer by enhancing their situational awareness," said Ike Song, vice president, Situational Awareness Systems, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "Our integrated mission avionics solution is built on mature, proven technology and an open architecture approach for superior performance, affordability, growth potential and reliability."

The upgrade will give the UH-60L a cockpit that replicates that of the HU-60M helicopter and is aligned with the Army's Future Airborne Capability Environment standard for use of off-the-shelf software and hardware for rapid insertion of capabilities.

Northrop said 700 to 900 aircraft are expected to receive the upgrade.

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