Sikorsky Pushing for Early Combat Rescue Helicopter Production Decision, Deliveries

The first Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter as it enters final assembly at Stratford, Conn., in February. Sikorsky photo

The pilots enjoy increased ballistic protection by way of thicker armor. The armor plating in the Pave Hawk only protects from standard 7.62 mm ball ammunition but the W model will add protection from 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds.

Versus the Pave Hawk, the W model has a “more elegant” side-gun mounting design. They won’t stick out as far from the aircraft and will be able to universally accept GAU-2, GAU-18, and GAU-21 guns, Healy said.

Special mission aviators and pararescuemen will be able to see mission data in the back of the aircraft, where three full-color displays are mounted. For the first time, pararescuemen will have crash-worthy seats, which can be folded up to the ceiling of the cabin. In the Pave Hawk, PJs sit on the cabin floor and take their chances.

Sikorsky is under contract for 39 training “devices,” which will include full-motion simulators for the pilots and special mission aviators. Additionally, there are operational flight trainers and part-task trainers focused on systems such as landing gear and hoists. Sikorsky is also developing maintenance system trainers for crew chiefs to work on at the Fort Eustis, Va. schoolhouse.