Lockheed Martin Mulls Adaptable Weapons Integration On Black Hawk Helicopters

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:26 AM, July 13, 2016
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Lockheed Martin Mulls Adaptable Weapons Integration On Black Hawk Helicopters
Black Hawk helicopter on display at Farnborough Airshow 2016 (Image: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin is exploring options to bring its weapons integration expertise to bear on the European-built S-70 BLACK HAWK helicopters made by Sikorsky.

The goal is to produce an armed kit scalable to the requirements of customers that procure International BLACK HAWK aircraft direct from Lockheed Martin, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

"Last year's acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin has widened the aperture of possibilities for arming the BLACK HAWK helicopter," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Sikorsky Global Military Systems & Services. "Lockheed Martin brings integration expertise that will allow us to customize an armed configuration -- for defensive or offensive operations -- to the specific preferences of current and future BLACK HAWK customers, and with weapons of their choice."

During the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, Lockheed Martin is displaying an armed BLACK HAWK aircraft manufactured at Sikorsky's PZL Mielec factory in Poland, and with the cockpit section manufactured at Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic. The display represents the types of weapons Lockheed Martin can integrate onto the medium-lift military utility platform that's renowned for its multirole capabilities.

Armed external wings on either side of the displayed aircraft feature a total of four weapons stations, with launchers for a mix of HellfireTM and DAGRTM air-to-ground missiles, a 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod, and an FN HERSTAL Belgium manufactured machine gun pod. For laser designating of a future weapons system, the aircraft's cockpit chin features the INFIRNOTM sensor system.

Crew-served weapons inside the displayed aircraft include an FN HERSTAL 50-caliber (12.7mm) machine gun mounted to the cabin floor, and window-mounted 7.62-mm mini-guns. The mini-guns can also swing into a fixed forward firing position operated by the pilot.

Depending on the chosen weapons configuration, the cabin will seat troops for a combined armed assault, fire suppression and support mission. Alternatively, the cabin can store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods, and an internal 200 gallon auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range and endurance.

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