Armed BLACK HAWK Demonstrator Completes Test Program Customer Demo Shows Sikorsky Helicopter’s Weapons in Action
STRATFORD, Connecticut - Sikorsky Military Systems, a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) have successfully completed the Armed BLACK HAWK (ABH) demonstrator program, proof-of concept for the development BATTLEHAWKTM helicopter. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
The ABH demonstrator program recently concluded in Israel with an opportunity for Sikorsky customers from around the world to observe the aircraft up close. Sikorsky Test Pilot Bill Fell provided a tutorial of the ABH demonstrator cockpit while the aircraft was on static display. Following the cockpit demonstration, customers visited a local military testing range where they observed a live-firing demonstration. The demonstration flight was conducted by Fell and an Israeli Air Force pilot.
“The successful conclusion of the demonstrator program signifies a major milestone for the Armed BLACK HAWK helicopter program,” said David Powell, Sikorsky Vice President, Worldwide Sales. “Sikorsky Aircraft has invested significant resources into this program in cooperation with the Israeli Air Force to prove the concept of these weapons, and we are pleased to announce that the technologies have been affirmed through our efforts. Together with Elbit Systems, and suppliers NEXTER and Rafael, we have established a winning combination for the success of the BATTLEHAWK helicopter program.”
The ABH demonstrator Flight Test program, which began in September 2008, was a cooperative effort between Sikorsky Aircraft and the government of Israel in conjunction with Elbit Systems Ltd., which is in charge of mission avionics and weapon systems integration. The program’s purpose was to produce an armed demonstrator for evaluation by the Israeli Air Force.
“I believe both companies benefited from this successful test program and we are looking forward to our next joint projects,” said Yoram Shmuely, Executive Vice President and Co-General Manager of Elbit Systems’ Aerospace Division.
The ABH demonstrator program tested an electro-optical guided missile, a laser-guided missile, a new laser-guided rocket system, and a 20-mm turreted gun. The production BATTLEHAWK helicopter will come equipped with a full suite of armed reconnaissance and attack capabilities, including an integrated helmet display Electro Optic Payload (EOP) and weapons options that include missiles, rockets, and fixed forward and turreted guns. These are available on new-build aircraft or as a kit that can be retrofitted onto existing BLACK HAWK helicopter platforms.
The BATTLEHAWK helicopter will provide medium-lift capability and firepower that cannot be duplicated by current dedicated utility or attack platforms. The aircraft can be used in either combat or peace time for such missions as troop transport, search and rescue, and disaster relief. On the modern battlefield, the BATTLEHAWK helicopter combines unique capabilities of advanced attack and accurate weapons delivery with deployment of fast-reaction teams.