NASHUA, N.H., 9 March 2016. U.S. Air Force officials had a critical need to equip the agency’s HH-60W combat rescue helicopters with survivability and situational awareness technology. They found their solution at BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire, with its AN/DPX-7 Reduced Size Transponder (RST) Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) technology and its Common Missile Warning System (CMWS).
These contracts mark the first time that a U.S. Air Force platform will benefit from the RST system and from CMWS, an automated and integrated infrared countermeasures suite, officials say.
“When airmen enter into dangerous situations to rescue wounded soldiers, they require the best technology available to safeguard them during these vital missions and provide them with situational awareness,” says John Watkins, vice president of business development at BAE Systems. “By equipping the combat rescue helicopter with RST and CMWS, the Air Force can be confident that its airmen will be using technology that has been proven in theater on multiple U.S. Army and Navy platforms.”
BAE Systems’ transponder is half the size and weight of others that are fielded, according to the company, and is well suited for aircraft such as the combat rescue helicopter, where space must be maximized and weight limited to increase the aircraft’s performance.
The transponder is currently on several manned and unmanned aircraft, including the MQ-4C Triton. It also supports combat identification and sense-and-avoid applications with its Mode 5 and ADS-B In/Out capabilities.
The Air Force will deploy the CMWS Gen3 system that includes both hostile fire indication and data recording capabilities to detect and evade small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The system also performs detailed post-mission analysis. CMWS missile warning technology has served more than 24 U.S. Army platform types and has amassed more than 2 million in-theater hours.
In 2014, Air Force officials selected the team of Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters with a derivative of the Sikorsky Black Hawk. The helicopters are used to extricate troops from dangerous situations in uncertain or hostile environments, as part of the Air Force’s Combat Search and Rescue Mission, which includes Personnel Recovery Operations.
Preliminary design review of this new aircraft is expected to take place in 2016.
You might also like:
Subscribe today to receive all the latest aerospace technology and engineering news, delivered directly to your e-mail inbox twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Sign upfor your free subscription to the Intelligent Inbox e-newsletter at http://www.intelligent-aerospace.com/subscribe.html.