Sikorsky Aircraft has awarded a contract to Cobham Aerospace Communications for the production of area microphone preamplifiers in support of the US Marine Corps' (USMC) next-generation heavy-lift rotorcraft, the CH-53K Super Stallion.
Known as Model 265-005 and used in a wide range of aircraft applications, the area microphone preamplifier will help in detecting and amplifying signals that are sent out of the cockpit and routes them to voice recorders.
Compatible with various other voice and data recorders, the equipment is available is different industry mounting standards such as DZUS panel mount, glare shield surface mount, and integrated or remotely-connected microphone options.
The CH-53K Super Stallion is a large, heavy-lift cargo helicopter and features three 7,500shp (5,590kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider cabin than previous CH-53 variants.
The helicopter is equipped with a new elastomeric hub system, a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head, upgraded engines and a locking cargo rail system.
Capable of carrying more than 27,000lb of external load in extreme weather conditions, the CH-53K helicopters are being developed to replace the existing CH-53E Super Stallions in 2019.
Two additional ground test helicopters are currently undergoing airframe structural testing at the company's US facility in Stratford, Connecticut, while all the four follow-on helicopters will undergo flight testing between 2014 and 2015.
Expected to continue through and beyond 2020, Sikorsky team for the CH-53K, 200-ship programme contract involves Aurora Flight Sciences, ITT Excelis, GKN Aerospace and Spirit Aerosystems.
Image: Cobham's area microphone preamplifier has been selected for installation onto USMC CH-53K Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Cobham.