Sikorsky Aircraft Selects Rockwell Collins to Provide CH-53K Avionics Management System

Sikorsky Aircraft announced today that it has selected Rockwell Collins to provide the avionics management system (AMS) for the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter under development for the United States Marine Corps. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). Sikorsky selected Rockwell Collins, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after soliciting and evaluating multiple bids over a six-month competition. This subcontract award marks the first major sub-system supplier selected by Sikorsky for the Marine Corps CH-53K development program.

"Sikorsky is pleased to welcome Rockwell Collins to the CH-53K heavy lift team. After extensive evaluation of all the proposals, it was clear that Rockwell Collins’ bid provided the best value and lowest risk for our Marine Corps customer. Further, Rockwell Collins brings a wealth of proven solutions across Department of Defense products and offered the best-in-class value for the taxpayer," said Dave Haines, Sikorsky’s CH-53K program manager.

The CH-53K’s new joint interoperable "glass" cockpit will provide additional capabilities and situational awareness for the pilots coupled with reduced logistics and operating costs.

The CH-53K AMS consists of five fully integrated active matrix liquid crystal multifunction displays (MFD), dual integrated processing cabinets (IPC), dual control display units (CDU), and dual data transfer units (DTU).

The CH-53K AMS provides a user interface that is consistent and intuitive for control of avionics subsystems by each cockpit crew member. The integrated cockpit includes fully integrated primary flight instrumentation, crew alerting system, display management, vehicle management, civil and military flight management, and navigation and communication equipment management.

In addition, the CH-53K AMS provides improved mission situational awareness through embedded tactical mission aids, such as digital moving map, FLIR video, defensive electronic countermeasures, network ready capability, correlation, and tactical display functions.

In April, the Marine Corps awarded Sikorsky a sole-source $3.0 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract to oversee aircraft development, systems integration, test article production and test and evaluation activities for the CH-53K.

Under the SDD contract, Sikorsky is responsible for selecting and managing the sub-system suppliers. Other major sub-systems to be awarded in the coming months include the engines, fly-by-wire flight controls, secondary power system, electric power system, landing gear, and airframe.

The SDD contract could lead to production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace roughly an equal number of CH-53E SUPER STALLION™ helicopters in the Marine Corps’ current inventory.

Development funding and production quantities are determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities.

The three-engine Sikorsky CH-53E SUPER STALLION is the largest, most powerful marinized helicopter in the world. It is deployed from Marine Corps amphibious assault ships to transport personnel and equipment, and to carry external (sling) cargo loads.

The CH-53K will maintain virtually the same footprint as the CH-53E, but will nearly double the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under "hot high" ambient conditions. The CH-53K’s maximum gross weight will increase to 84,700 pounds versus 72,500 pounds for the CH-53E.

The upgrades slated for the CH-53K include: joint interoperable glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth generation rotor blades with anhedral tip; low-maintenance elastomeric rotorhead; gross weight expansion; upgraded engine system; cargo rail locking system; external cargo handling improvements, survivability enhancements, and reduced operation and support costs.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Source: Sikorsky
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