Lockheed Martin has completed the 400th Common Cockpit™ avionics suite for the U.S. Navy’s MH-60 Seahawk helicopter program.
The digital cockpit will be installed aboard the first of 24 MH-60R (Romeo) anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters to be acquired by the Royal Australian Navy via the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program.
“The Common Cockpit avionics suite has proved to be a highly effective flight and mission systems hub during more than 600,000 flight hours aboard the U.S. Navy’s fleet of 360 MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters built and delivered to date,” said Capt. James Glass, program manager for H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopters. “A digital, all glass cockpit that’s common to both platforms and operationally proven will enable critical interoperability between MH-60 aircraft operated by both the Australian and U.S. navies.”
Australia is the first international customer to buy the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R multi-mission helicopter, which became operational in January 2006. The U.S. Navy is expected to take delivery of the first mission-ready MH-60R helicopter in December 2013 for transfer to the Royal Australian Navy in early 2014. All 24 Australian aircraft are to be delivered by mid-2016.
“The MH-60R is a proven capability with the Common Cockpit at its core,” said Capt Scott Lockey, who is the Project Director for the Australian MH-60R program. “The Australian acquisition of 24 multi-mission Romeo helicopters means that we will have the capacity to provide at least eight warships with a combat helicopter at the same time, and we can rely on the Common Cockpit to successfully network and communicate with our fleet.”
The Common Cockpit avionics suite features four large, flat-panel, multi-function, night-vision-compatible, color displays. The suite processes and manages communications and sensor data streaming into MH-60 multi-mission helicopters, presenting to the crew of three actionable information that significantly reduces workload while increasing situational awareness.
Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky builds the MH-60R and MH-60S aircraft. Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training in Owego, N.Y. delivered the first MH-60 Common Cockpit avionics suite in 2002 when U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopters became operational.