Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has completed qualification of a comprehensive weapons system for the US Army’s S-70M / S-70i Black Hawk helicopters.
The new weapons system is capable of being fully integrated with the helicopter’s currently-used avionics.
It enables the pilot to quickly and precisely place munitions from forward firing guns, rocket pods and laser-designated air-to-ground missile launchers on to static or moving targets.
Last year, Sikorsky completed a six-year development programme, including two years of live fire trials at the army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, US.
Recently, the independent Qualification Assurance Board of the company verified and validated the system’s effectiveness and conformance to operational safety, airworthiness and firing accuracy.
Sikorsky Global Military Systems and Services vice-president Bill Gostic said: “Sikorsky has vastly simplified the complex task of placing rounds onto a target from standoff distances by calculating the complex ballistics required for effective airborne gunnery.
“Once the weapons interfaces and electro-optical infrared sensor are integrated with the Black Hawk helicopter’s existing controls and displays, international militaries can add external wings and weapons of choice in less than three hours to perform a range of medium attack missions.”
Once installed on to the Black Hawk helicopter, the weapons system will help enhance the capability of the aircraft to carry out a wide range of medium attack missions.
The weapons deployed on board are carried by two external wings that support four weapons stations. They allow for any combination of fixed forward 50-cal (12.7mm) gun, 7-shot or 19-shot Hydra 70 rocket pods or Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.