Sikorsky has transferred an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to Turkish defence electronics firm Aselsan for use as an engineering test bed for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP).
The Sikorsky-owned S-70i aircraft arrived at Aselsan’s facility in Ankara on 25th February 25 after nine hours of flight from Sikorsky's PZL Mielec aircraft factory in southern Poland. The aircraft was delivered to Sikorsky by PZL Mielec in June 2016.
The test bed will enable Sikorsky to integrate an Aselsan-developed avionics suite into the Republic of Turkey's new T70 utility helicopter, and later into Turkish-built Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk aircraft to be sold internationally.
Called the Integrated Modular Avionics System (IMAS), the new avionics suite is a collaborative design by Aselsan, Sikorsky, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and pilots serving the Turkish Armed Forces to meet the requirements of Turkish T70 operators and other potential customers.
TAI is leading a team of Turkish aerospace companies that will build at least 109 helicopters with the T70 designation for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program. The IMAS suite is expected in time for initial deliveries of T70 aircraft to Turkish end users in 2021.
Aselsan and Sikorsky are co-developing the IMAS suite to provide Turkish pilots with powerful smart displays, point-and-click functionality to speed input of pilot commands, and ergonomic enhancements to the Pilot Vehicle Interface that will reduce pilot workload. Navigational improvements tailored to Turkish requirements will include an integrated Terrain Avoidance Warning System, an integrated advanced digital map, and coupled flight control functions for guided approaches to landing zones.
The TUHP programme is valued at approximately $3.5bn for 109 T70 aircraft, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI and other suppliers.