Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has contracted aerospace and defence firm CPI Aerostructures to deliver maintenance repair and overhaul services for tow hook assemblies deployed on the US Navy's primary airborne mine countermeasures aircraft, MH-53E Sea Dragon.
The tow hook assembly is an electromechanical device featuring precision machined parts, springs and linkage mechanisms to help lock cables in place during towing operations.
CPI Aerostructures will initially be responsible for removing, inspecting, upgrading and repairing 15 tow hook assembly units under the new deal.
The cumulative value of the initial 15 repair orders is expected to reach $1m due to the level of refitting required.
CPI Aerostructures president and CEO Douglas McCrosson said: “The expertise we gained from manufacturing these assemblies in the past enabled CPI Aero to put forth a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) proposal with greatly reduced programme execution risk for our customer, delivering our first component MRO win.
“The contract also builds upon a very successful aerostructures MRO programme on Black Hawk that we have been performing for Sikorsky since 2013 and that has exceeded the customer's expectations for quality, turnaround time and technical support.”
MH-53E Sea Dragon is capable of operating from carriers and other warships and can be used for towing a wide range of mine hunting / sweeping countermeasures systems, including the MK 105 minesweeping sled, the ASQ-14 side-scan sonar and the Mk 103 mechanical minesweeping system.
The US Navy currently possesses 28 units of the MH-53E primary airborne mine countermeasures aircraft.
Image: Official US Navy file photo of an MH-53E Sea Dragon from the "Vanguards" of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen (HM-14). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Bob Houlihan (RELEASED).