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.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 

Lockheed Martin completes operational flight tests of GMLRS alternative warhead

DALLAS, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –†Lockheed Martin has successfully completed all Developmental Test/Operational Test flight tests for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The DT/OT tests included rockets fired at both mid and long range. All rockets were fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 

 

SPEEA files age discrimination charge against Boeing

After months of investigation, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, charged Boeing with age discrimination. Acting on behalf of SPEEA-represented engineers, the union filed the third-party charges July 23 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. The evidence is overwhelming that Boeing hatched...
 
 

Commercial jets push Boeing profits up 52 percent

Increased production of passenger jets helped push up Boeing’s profit by 52 percent in the second quarter, topping Wall Street’s expectations. The Chicago-based company said net income increased to $1.65 billion, or $2.24 per share, from $1.09 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came...
 
 

Comprehensive MEADS network tests demonstrate unmatched plug-and-fight missile defense capabilities

The Medium Extended Air Defense System recently completed a comprehensive system demonstration at Pratica di Mare Air Base near Rome, Italy. The two-week test demonstration included significant first-time events that were observed by several national delegations. “The outstanding result is that we have demonstrated the full range of advanced network capabilities that only MEADS can...
 




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>