The Combat Rescue Helicopter, designed by Sikorsky, will perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations. Artist rendering courtesy of Sikorsky
Sikorsky’s Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) has undergone a program training systems critical design review, the manufacturer said. The program is now readying to enter assembly, test and evaluation of the HH-60W’s training systems.
“This capability is badly needed by the U.S. Air Force rescue warriors that have continually engaged in combat operations since 1991,” said Tim Healy, Sikorsky CRH program director. “The aircraft production is well under way, and with our training system design well understood by all parties, we can now begin assembly of the training devices and courseware as well.”
The review, Sikorsky said, is an important step in developing maintenance and aircrew training devices, courseware products, and the training required to support the initial helicopter maintenance and aircrew cadre. It occurred in September as Sikorsky, the Air Force and key suppliers met over four days.
Training devices range from full motion simulators to full aircraft maintenance trainings, including “part task training devices” for avionics and other systems, Sikorsky said. Simulators would be able to link with other simulators on the Combat Air Forces Distributed Mission Operations network. Avionics desktop trainers would feature touchscreens and have the ability to learn aircraft systems troubleshooting while in a classroom or squadron environment.
The program of record is for 112 helicopters. They would replace the U.S. Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawks, which perform combat search and rescue operations, as well as personnel recovery, for all U.S. military services. The contract is a $1.5 billion engineering, manufacturing and development deal. It includes delivery of nine HH-60Ws, as well as six aircrew and maintenance training devices and instructional courseware designed specifically for the aircraft, according to Sikorsky.
The HH-60W is expected to take flight for the first time late next year. Associated training devices and courseware should be ready for training in early 2020, Sikorsky said.