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Colombia receives HTAWS-equipped S-70i Black Hawks

18th October 2013 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The first Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS)-equipped S-70i Black Hawk helicopters have been delivered to the Colombian Army by Sikorsky. The two helicopters are the first to incorporate HTAWS as standard equipment.

HTAWS brings pilots advanced situational awareness in all light conditions. It consists of a dedicated sunlight-readable display compatible with night vision goggles located in the centre of the S-70i aircraft’s instrument panel.

The helicopters will join the five S-70i aircraft acquired by the Special Forces of the Colombian Army’s Air Assault Division in January. Colombia is the first South American nation to operate the S-70i Black Hawk.

Jennifer Caruso, vice president of army and air force programs, Sikorsky, said: ‘HTAWS will give military operators 360-degree situational awareness in low visibility, day or night, and at altitudes as low as 75 feet. As a new baseline capability for all S-70i Black Hawk aircraft, this high resolution system will enable aircrews to perform their demanding missions with greater safety and effectiveness.’

The HTAWS system is integrated with the aircraft’s dual GPS/INS system and digital map, radar altimeter, heading system and air data computer, displaying the GPS location, along with terrain, roads, obstacles and transmission lines. Audible warnings via the aircraft’s internal communications system alert the pilots to obstacles. Pilots can adjust the system to one of four sensitivity modes — Normal, Low, Tactical, and Obstacles Only — designed to reduce false alerts when missions call for flight operations at increasingly closer proximity to the ground.

In addition to HTAWS, the Colombian S-70i aircraft also come equipped with a rescue hoist, an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System that will monitor the aircrafts’ engines, transmission and rotors, as well as additional radios and other unique mission equipment.

The Shephard News Team


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