[Avionics Magazine 12-9-2016] Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has inaugurated a new Systems Integration Lab (SIL) to begin testing key systems for the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH), the new aircraft being built for the United States Air Force (USAF).
An illustration of the Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter. Photo: Lockheed Martin.
The SIL encompasses 2,500 square feet located within the company’s main manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut. The SIL complex includes four laboratories for testing avionics, electrical power, electronic flight controls and integrated vehicle diagnostics. Each subsystem will be evaluated independently before progressing to a fully integrated aircraft-representative test configuration.
The integrated experience will closely resemble the actual aircraft and allow the pilot to fly simulated missions to evaluate qualitative performance, such as pilot workload, and have the actual look and feel of the aircraft.
The USAF program of record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force’s aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.
The $1.2 billion engineering, manufacturing and development contract includes development and integration of the next generation combat rescue helicopter and mission systems, including delivery of four HH-60W helicopters, as well as six aircrew and maintenance training devices and instructional courseware. The training devices run the spectrum from full motion simulators and full aircraft maintenance trainers, to discrete part task training devices for aircraft systems such as avionics, rescue hoist and landing gear.