The first deliveries of both seats and cabin armor are scheduled for 2010. The total value of the programs is estimated at approximately $90 million through 2022. Sikorsky is planning to build 156 CH-53K aircraft.
The new cockpit seat will be part of BAE Systems "S7000" family of armored crashworthy seats. It will also include integration of the CH-53K's fly-by-wire flight controls, which will allow for improved occupant safety, ergonomic integration, and mission endurance. The cabin armor will utilize BAE systems latest technology to minimize weight while providing protection to the occupants and critical systems of the CH-53K.
BAE Systems efforts on these initial contracts will include design, development, testing, qualification, and delivery of initial systems to support the flight and ground test aircraft. Follow-on contracts would be placed for production orders and spares.
"Whereas other aircraft armor applications are usually done as retrofits to existing aircraft," says Don Dutton, vice-president of occupant protection systems for BAE Systems, "this system will be designed and qualified into the aircraft, ensuring that the armor meets the same safety, interface, and airworthiness standards as all other equipment on the CH-53K."
The Occupant Protection business, headquartered in Phoenix is part of the newly formed Security & Survivability Systems, a technology leader in light weight materials. Security & Survivability Systems products include composite, ceramic and transparent armor technologies, integrated vehicle armor systems, vehicle and aircraft survivability components and accessories, and soldier protection equipment.