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Lockheed providing more Seahawk upgrades

Jan. 13, 2011 at 9:29 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's MH-60R Seahawk helicopters are getting continued upgrades from Lockheed Martin under end-of-the-year awards totaling $360 million.

Lockheed said the awards are for a spectrum of systems aboard the helicopters, built by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

"The Navy's investment in the MH-60R fleet ensures our pilots and aircrews have the best and most advanced equipment for every mission," said Capt. Dean Peters, U.S. Navy MH-60 program manager. "We are looking for reliable, modern aircraft upgraded efficiently and affordably and that's why we have devoted these resources to the MH-60 fleet."

Lockheed said the Navy exercised a $38 million option under a current multiyear contract to cover production of the next lot of common cockpits for MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters.

In addition, MH-60R/S crews will be given improved situational awareness by incorporating Lockheed Martin's Situational Awareness Technology Insertion aboard the aircraft under a $35 million contract.

The award covers a predevelopment iteration of SATI, an eight-component package of upgrades and improvements to the helicopter's flight management system. Improvements include a new integrated digital map to give pilots a clear picture of their operating area and an upgrade to the Identification Friend-or-Foe system.

One of the most highly advanced systems aboard the MH-60R -- Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination -- will transition from system development and demonstration to production under a $36 million contract award, Lockheed said.

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