LifePort, Inc. selected by the U.S. Navy to equip CH-53E helicopters with its Critical Systems Armor (CSA) to reduce aircraft systems damage from hostile small arms fire and other threats during combat operations.
The announcement was made during the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, D.C. There are 40 CSA kits currently under production with deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"LifePort's expertise in developing and designing armor solutions is the basis for this contract selection. Our engineering resources meet the U.S. Navy's specifications, and we are the only company in the marketplace today able to provide this type of lightweight ballistic performance," said Noah Zuckerman, Vice President and General Manager of LifePort. "By the first quarter of 2014, U.S. Navy aircraft will be equipped with LifePort's armor systems, and we are very proud to be an instrumental part of this critical component protection upgrade."
The CH-53E helicopter's existing safety features include armored pilot seats and a ballistic protection system that covers the cockpit, passenger compartment floor areas and the aircraft ramp. To diminish the threat of critical aircraft systems failure from hostile fire, the U.S. Navy has identified the need for CSA protection. The CSA kits are mission-configurable assemblies of armor protective panels installed in various locations on the aircraft.
The CH-53E SUPER STALLION helicopter is deployed with U.S. Marine Corps heavy lift helicopter squadrons. With its three-engine design, the aircraft is the largest, heaviest and most powerful helicopter in the U.S. military. It is the only helicopter that can lift the 155mm howitzer, its crew and ammunition, as well as lift an aircraft as heavy as itself.