The US Navy has received the 200th common cockpit avionics suite from aerospace company Lockheed Martin as part of the navy’s MH-60R and MH-60S multimission helicopter programmes.
The company has deported 47 cockpits for the navy’s newest and most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter, the Seahawk Type MH-60R, and 153 cockpits for the same type MH-60S.
The latter is currently undergoing ship-to-ship vertical replenishment, shielding the fleet with Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and mine clearance operations.
Lockheed Martin systems integration general manager of naval helicopter programmes Richard Holmberg said that the suite’s common avionics architecture fulfilled the navy’s need for a single cockpit which can communicate to multiple weapons and sensor systems aboard the MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters, and display the integrated information.
“This commonality drives down total ownership costs by providing navy maintainers with a single logistic support infrastructure, and enabling our development team to easily add mission capabilities when needed,” Holmberg added.
The suite’s plan supports technological amendments for weapons, navigation and communications systems.
The company has attached a link 16 communications data link to the suite to allow the aircrew to exchange vital information with fellow ships and aircraft.
The new enhancement automates MH-60R’s activities relating to tracking, locating and pursuing surface vessels and submarines.
The company will continue the cockpit production till 2015 for the navy’s 300 MH-60R and 273 MH-60S aircraft.