DH - Defence Helicopter

Sikorsky qualifies weapons system for S-70M/S-70i helicopters

8th February 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Sikorsky has qualified a comprehensive weapons system for the S-70M/S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to military standards.

The system is fully integrated with the aircraft's existing avionics and allows either pilot to place munitions quickly from forward firing guns, rocket pods and laser-designated air-to-ground missile launchers onto static or moving targets with high accuracy.

The company concluded a six-year development programme of the weapons system in 2017 including two years of live fire tests at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The independent Qualification Assurance Board of Sikorsky recently verified and validated the weapons system's effectiveness and conformance to operational safety, airworthiness and firing accuracy.

The weapons are carried by two external wings supporting four weapons stations, which can support any combination of fixed forward 50cal gun, 7- or 19-shot Hydra 70 rocket pods, or Hellfire air-to-ground missiles. The qualified configuration also features pilot-controlled fixed forward or crew served flex fire 7.62mm mini-guns mounted to both cabin windows.

Once integrated for weapons delivery, the armed Black Hawk can be configured to perform a variety of medium attack missions, attack, armed escort and fire supression; troop transport and assault; and anti-armour.

To engage with guns and rockets, the weapons system provides continuously updated targeting symbology to each pilot's helmet mounted display. The pilot can manoeuvre the aircraft and engage the target by following the cues on the display. The system also provides target designation for laser-guided Hellfire missiles.

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