AST Security Equipment, a Germany-based engineering firm, has won a contract for armouring 17 medium transport CH-53 helicopters from a NATO-member. The armour is designed to deal with the actual threat that NATO has in its mission area. The area that will be protected is approximately 50m² in hard ballistic and approximately 30m² in soft ballistic for each helicopter.

The CH-53 was developed by Sikorsky in the beginning of the 1960s as the S-65. Approximately 950 CH-53 helicopters were build, of which 600 are still in service.

Speaking about the occasion AST’s official spokesperson said, “AST has always proven their capabilities in delivering the airworthiness documentation. We have changed the design of the sets to fit the new mission requirements. There is a change in the documentation in configuration and obsolescence management so that the helicopter can fulfil the requirements of the FAR in the future as well. This is the first big offer where AST and MKU can prove how close they work together and how to reach the high quality targets set up by the customers.”

For an increase in flight-safety AST is developing a new attachment system which will prevent the danger of FOD (foreign object damage) to the aircraft, reduce vibration and make handling easier.