Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has transferred to defense electronics firm Aselsan an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter for use as the prototype aircraft for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP). The aircraft 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 leads 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.
The Sikorsky-owned S-70i aircraft arrived at Aselsan facility in Ankara on Saturday after nine hours of flight from Sikorsky's PZL Mielec aircraft factory in southern Poland. During the 930 nautical mile journey, the aircraft crossed Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria with two fuel stops along the way.
Sikorsky TUHP Program Director Jason Lambert presented the aircraft's keys to Aselsan President and CEO Dr. Faik Eken during an arrival ceremony Wednesday. Also attending were officials from the Turkish Government's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the Turkish defense industry, Sikorsky, and an international diplomatic delegation with missions in Ankara.
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 program is valued at approximately $3.5 billion for 109 T70 aircraft, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI and other suppliers.