Business

May 14, 2014

Sikorsky Aircraft to develop autonomous Black Hawk for cargo missions

Sikorsky Aircraft announced today from the AUVSI Unmanned Systems conference that it will develop its first product to feature Matrix™ Technology, by converting a retired UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter into an optionally piloted variant capable of a wide spectrum of missions.

Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

With the autonomous Black Hawk, Sikorsky plans to build on the success of its Matrix Technology and Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter autonomy programs to deliver a new level of mission flexibility to combat and logistic planners. The product will integrate autonomy and advanced fleet management technology with refurbishment experience to provide a cost-effective, dependable and sustainable system.

The autonomous Black Hawk helicopter will offer the flexibility of internal and external cargo capability, the strength to lift up to 9,000 pounds, and the productivity of high cruise speeds. The design is targeting a system loss rate of one per 100,000 flight hours.

“The autonomous Black Hawk will provide affordable, reliable, high-speed resupply to the warfighter in the harshest conditions at a cost per ton mile that competes with ground convoys,” said Mark Miller, vice president of Research & Engineering.

Design of a prototype system has been underway for more than a year, and induction of the first Black Hawk helicopter will begin later this month. Sikorsky will conduct a series of technology maturation tests during the build period using the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft, which is based on an S-76® commercial helicopter.

“While today we are announcing the creation of a proof-of-concept aircraft, Sikorsky is already prepared to ramp up system conversions per year as demand requires,” said Samir Mehta, Sikorsky’s president of Defense Systems & Services. “We are considering potential development partners and look forward to working with the Department of Defense and other customers to mature this concept and its associated operations.”

In collaboration with the U.S. Army, Sikorsky successfully demonstrated the ability of a UH-60M Upgrade Optionally Piloted Black Hawk helicopter to conduct autonomous flight and autonomous cargo resupply demonstrations through its MURAL Program earlier this year.

For the past year, Sikorsky has been aggressively advancing helicopter autonomous flight with its Matrix Technology program. The Matrix test aircraft, SARA, has conducted continuous flight testing to increase capabilities, adding advanced perception flights to its latest phase of envelope expansion.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing-upgraded French AWACS take flight

Boeing photograph A French AWACS aircraft patrols the skies as part of a routine mission. The French AWACS fleet is in the midst of the Mid-Life Upgrade that modernizes the capabilities on board. Initial operating capability of...
 
 
boeing-E4B

Boeing returns Air Force E-4B aircraft to service ahead of schedule

Boeing recently completed maintenance on a U.S. Air Force E-4B advanced airborne command post earlier than planned, enabling the Air Force to quickly return the vital aircraft to operational service. It was the first E-4B servi...
 
 
austal-launch

Austal launches Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Brunswick

Austal launched the recently christened USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) at its state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala., May 19. With the 338-foot Joint High Speed Vessel entering the water for the first time, the s...
 

 

GE Aviation, Woodward combine fuel systems expertise for new joint venture

GE Aviation and Woodward, Inc. announced May 20 a strategic 50/50 joint venture for fuel systems for GE’s large commercial aircraft engine lines. The new joint venture will design, develop, source, supply and service the fuel system, including components from the fuel inlet up to the fuel nozzle, for the GE90, GEnx, GE9X and all...
 
 
raytheon-SDB

Small Diameter Bomb II program achieves Milestone C clearing the way for production

Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) Milestone C decision briefing, paving the way for the program to enter low rate initial production. Unlike standard bombs, SDB II employ...
 
 

Boeing Business Jets announces two airplane orders

Boeing Business Jets announced May 18 two new orders at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva. Two undisclosed customers have selected a BBJ and a BBJ 787-8 Dreamliner. “We are pleased to have such a strong start to 2015, and we know that these two customers will love their airplanes and all...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>