The Helicopters Division of Kaman Aerospace has successfully completed all testing of its integrated tactical avionics system (ITAS) software and taken title to 11 SH-2G Seasprite helicopters built for the Australian Navy.
These important milestones significantly enhance Kaman’s efforts to sell the highly capable multi-mission helicopters to international navies. Kaman has also secured export licences to market the aircraft to over 40 countries and is having discussions with several prospective customers. At the same time, work to upgrade ten Egyptian SH-2G(E) aircraft with digital automatic flight control systems is under way, with two of the ten helicopters already accepted by the Egyptian Air Force.
“It’s an exciting time for Kaman and we’re proud of our accomplishments,” said Kaman Helicopters president Sal Bordonaro. “Our Seasprite program is advancing very well, our subcontract work for prime contractors is growing nicely and our engineering team is bringing exciting new rotorcraft solutions to military and commercial customers.”
The ITAS software provides the high level of cockpit integration that allows the SH-2G(I) to fly and fight with a two-person crew from small naval frigates or coast guard cutters. Testing of ITAS included formal qualification testing, completed in late 2008 by Kaman’s subcontractor, CSC Australia, as well as the final flight testing this year.
CSC Australia performed ITAS software development, integration and testing at its facility in Sydney, Australia. All of the software development was conducted in accordance with industry accepted software design, development and test standards, and upon completion of the test program, CSC provided its independent certification of satisfactory software performance. Subsequent flight testing of this software at Kaman’s Bloomfield, Connecticut facility, coupled with previously completed testing of the highly capable sensor and communications suite and the four-axis automatic flight control system, completes all elements of testing to ensure that the SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite fully meets its design objectives.
Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites are currently serving the governments of Egypt, New Zealand and Poland. The aircraft served with distinction as a front-line US Navy helicopter, where its reliability and durability were well documented. The overall safety record for the Super Seasprite is exceptional, and rigorous design and test of this version – to the same safety standards as were employed for previous versions – ensure that the SH-2G(I) will continue to enjoy the excellent safety record, rugged at-sea durability and high mission effectiveness as its predecessors.