Sikorsky began final assembly of the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter for the U.S. Air Force in line with the program’s accelerated schedule, the company said.
“Final assembly of this first HH-60W helicopter marks a significant milestone for Sikorsky, our workforce and the U.S. Air Force,” said Tim Healy, director of Sikorsky Air Force Programs said in a Tuesday, February 20 press release.
Sikorsky is on track to deliver the helicopter ahead of time, putting its first test flight at the end of 2018, two months ahead of schedule.
Final assembly includes installation of a new fuel system, tactical kit and integration of radar, sensors and other defense systems.
The U.S. Air Force is seeking to replace its HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters with 112 new aircraft.
The HH-60W is a variant of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter and is designed to be deployed for casualty and medical evacuation as well as civil search and rescue and disaster relief.
Sikorsky will deliver nine HH-60W helicopters, six aircrew and maintenance training devices, and instructional courseware under the $1.5 billion contract.