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.


 
 

 

Headlines October 20, 2014

News: Navy grounds ‘Top Guns’ - The F/A-18s needs spare parts and in too many cases they’re being taken from brand new jets. This is a risk to national security and pilots’ lives.   Business: Boeing seeks revised schedule for U.S. aerial tanker - Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs October 20, 2014

New military medical team to help with Ebola in U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 

 
Boeing photographs

Boeing-built X-37B successfully completes third flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission   Boeing photograph A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg...
 
 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 




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>