Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Owego, N.Y., together with the Navy, celebrated the rollout of the first fully upgraded SH-60R multi-mission prototype helicopter Aug 5.
This milestone marks the beginning of a six-month flight test period that leads to a Limited Rate Initial Production (LRIP) program in March 2000.
"Our success with the SH-60R and with its predecessor, the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) MK III SH-60B, has continued because we and our Navy customer have always worked together as a closely integrated team through every phase of the program," said Jim Hargrave, vice president, Navy Helo Programs. "This winning equation will enable us to reach the Navy's goal for operational capability in 2002 and to achieve their objectives for the Navy Helo Master Plan for the next century."
The SH-60R is expected to arrive at Naval Air Station Patuxent River by the end of the year for developmental testing at the Naval Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Squadron. It will return to the Lockheed Martin facility for more upgrades before operational testing commences here with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One. Testing of the aircraft's new avionics subsystems will cover a two-year period at Pax.
About 450 attendees, including Navy personnel, subcontractors and Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Owego employees who contributed to the success of the program, dignitaries and community leaders, were on hand for a ceremony at the Owego site to commemorate the event. Rear Adm. James A. Robb symbolically "accepted" the aircraft from Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Owego was the incumbent prime systems integrator on the LAMPS MK III SH-60B Program for nearly two decades, starting in 1976. Solid performance on this program formed the basis for the Navy's sole-source award of the SH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopter Upgrade Development follow-on contract to Lockheed Martin in 1993.
The SH-60R program, valued at about $2.5 billion to Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Owego's business, encompasses the upgrade of 250 aircraft through the year 2012. Today, Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Owego is helping the U.S. Navy reach its goal for this program of fielding the SH-60R Multi-mission helicopter as the best possible war-fighting system available to fly and fight in high-density, information-intensive, littoral (coastal) and open-ocean maritime environments.
Like its predecessor, the SH-60R will play a central role in undersea and surface warfare and peacekeeping missions. Considered the "flag ship" of the Navy's Helicopter Master Plan, the SH-60R brings its multi-mission capabilities to all naval aviation-capable ships, including carriers, cruisers, amphibious craft, destroyers and frigates.