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Pentagon Acquisition Panel Authorizes UH-60M BLACK HAWK Low Rate Initial Production

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Pentagon Acquisition Panel Authorizes UH-60M BLACK HAWK Low Rate Initial Production

April 04, 2005

  Stratford, South Carolina - The Pentagon's Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) has authorized the Army's UH-60M BLACK HAWK program to proceed with Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of 22 new UH-60M's with authorization to build up to 40 new helicopters through fiscal year 2006. LRIP is the last phase in a defense procurement program before a full-rate production decision is made.

The Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) issued March 31, also authorized advanced procurement for the first lot of full rate production UH-60Ms, beginning in FY07. The decision reflects the Army's effort to lower fleet operating and support costs.

A full-rate production decision to authorize more than 1,200 UH-60M aircraft is scheduled for 2007. Exact procurement numbers year-to-year and across the life of the program will be determined by budget authorizations and specific contract awards.

The UH-60M is designed to replace the UH-60A and is the centerpiece of the long-term effort to modernize the service's medium-lift helicopter fleet. Sikorsky Aircraft has manufactured the Army BLACK HAWK since 1978. The UH-60M provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, better handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, improved survivability, and improved producibility using high speed machined parts.

The UH-60M's new composite spar wide-chord blade will provide 227 kg (500 lb) more lift than the current UH-60L blade. The new General Electric T700-GE-701D engine will add more shaft horsepower, and allow additional lift during external lift (sling load) operations.

The new cockpit includes multi-function displays; flight management systems; modern flight control computers with fully coupled autopilot; an integrated vehicle health management system with flight data and cockpit voice recorder; inertial navigation systems with embedded global positioning systems; improved data modem; and improved heads-up displays. The narrower cockpit instrument panel will also significantly improve chin window visibility.

To date Sikorsky has delivered three UH-60Ms and is under contract to deliver five more of the latest version BLACK HAWKs for the test program.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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