Sikorsky to develop new combat rescue helicopter

A computer generated image of the CRH-60. (Image © Sikorsky)
A computer generated image of the CRH-60. (Image © Sikorsky)

Sikorsky Aircraft has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to develop new combat search and rescue helicopters. Sikorsky will develop a derivative of the UH-60M Blackhawk model for the Air Force’s rescue mission, the company said on Thursday 26 June 2014.

The Air Force announced in 2010 that it would replace its aging HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters. Sikorsky, joined by Lockheed Martin as the major subsystems supplier, offered a UH-60M derivative named CRH-60 to replace the Pavehawk as the Air Force’s new combat rescue helicopter. The aircraft features increased internal fuel capability, compared with today’s HH-60G helicopter, thereby giving the it the required range, while increasing its internal cabin space.

Like the UH-60M helicopter, the aircraft will feature T700-GE-701D engines, composite wide-chord main rotor blades, and fatigue- and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structures to sustain maneuverability at high density altitudes.

The award of an estimated 1.28 billion USD Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract includes development and integration of the rescue mission systems; delivery of four Combat Rescue Helicopters; as well as seven aircrew and maintainer training systems. Initial training of Air Force aircrew and maintainers and five Combat Rescue Helicopters are also expected to be delivered by 2020, once additional aircraft and training options are exercised. This contract is the first step in the eventual production and fielding of up to 112 aircraft with a potential value of approximately 7.9 billion USD.

Like the UH-60M helicopter, the aircraft will feature T700-GE-701D engines, composite wide-chord main rotor blades, and fatigue- and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structures to sustain maneuverability at high density altitudes.

Source: Sikorsky