Sikorsky achieves MH-60 production milestone
April 29, 2011, Stratford, Conn. - Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the U.S. Navy have celebrated the production of 100 MH-60R and 200 MH-60S SEAHAWK® multi-mission helicopters for the U.S. Navy.
By Carey Fredericks
“MH-60 helicopters perform an important role protecting the fleet and its sailors, and conducting a host of multi-mission operations,” said Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, vice commander, U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command. “Our Navy pilots and crew fly with the knowledge that these aircraft not only are proven operationally at sea, but are made by a company with a proven track record of helicopter manufacturing excellence.”
The U.S. Navy has accumulated 370,000 flight hours on MH-60S aircraft since operations began in 2002, and more than 90,000 flight hours for the MH-60R helicopter since 2006. As multi-mission platforms, both fulfill the Navy’s Helicopter Master Plan that designates two multi-mission helicopter types will take over the missions performed by six legacy helicopters across the fleet.
MH-60S aircraft take on roles previously performed by CH-46D, UH-3H, HH-1N and HH-60H helicopters — carrying supplies and sailors between ships, performing search and rescue, protecting Navy ships with air-to-surface missiles, and as a future mission will hunt for mines at sea. The MH-60R aircraft, with radar, acoustic sonar, sophisticated communications links, torpedoes and missiles, combines the anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare roles performed by the SH-60B and SH-60F SEAHAWK helicopters.
“We are immensely proud of our prime role building the U.S. Navy’s most advanced maritime helicopters,” said Dennis Jarvi, Sikorsky vice president for Navy and Marine Corps programs. “Our skilled and dedicated workforce, and our many industry teammates, apply their significant experience to assist the Navy in achieving mission success with each and every MH-60 aircraft.”
Sikorsky employs more than 1,100 hourly employees to assemble and complete both MH-60 SEAHAWK helicopter types at the company’s Troy, Ala., and Stratford, Conn., facilities.
The result of 35 years of lessons learned in delivering SEAHAWK helicopters to the U.S. Navy, the new MH-60 multi-mission helicopters have special coatings to resist salt corrosion, strengthened airframes, and systems that reduce vibrations and monitor how the aircraft is performing. Both aircraft types feature the same digital cockpit manufactured by Lockheed Martin.