The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky $500 million to build 12 additional HH-60W combat helicopters.
“Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, will build 12 additional HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters (CRH) following a second Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract award by the US Air Force, known as Lot 2, and valued at over $500 million,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement Thursday.
In 2019, the company was awarded first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for 10 HH-60Ws. In October, the USAF green-signalled production of HH-60W CRHs after the aircraft completed performance and flight load survey testing.
The HH-60W is based on UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The Air Force plans to buy 113 of these new helicopters to replace its predecessor, the Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawks.
The HH-60W helicopter will perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all US military services. The new rotorcraft hosts a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the internal tank on a UH-60M, giving the Air Force crew extended range and more capability to rescue those injured in the battle space.
According to the company, the HH-60W specification drives more capable defensive systems, vulnerability reduction, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, weapons, cyber-security, environmental and net-centric requirements than currently held by the HH-60G.