WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Armor kits to protect critical systems of CH-53E helicopters from small arms fire are to be supplied to the U.S. Navy by LifePort Inc., the company announced.
The CH-53E Super Stallion, which is deployed by the U.S. Marine Corps, is manufactured by Sikorsky, the parent company of after-market company Sikorsky Aerospace Systems, which owns LifePort.
"LifePort's expertise in developing and designing armor solutions is the basis for this contract selection," LifePort Vice President and General Manager Noah Zuckerman said. "Our engineering resources meet the U.S. Navy's specifications, and we are the only company in the marketplace today able to provide this type of lightweight ballistic performance.
"By the first quarter of 2014, U.S. Navy aircraft will be equipped with LifePort's armor systems, and we are very proud to be an instrumental part of this critical component protection upgrade."
The CH-53E helicopter's existing safety features include armored pilot seats and a ballistic protection system that covers the cockpit, passenger compartment floor areas and the aircraft ramp. The company's critical systems armor kits, which are mission-configurable assembles of armor panels, will be installed in various locations on the aircraft.
LifePort said 40 kits are already under production and deliveries will begin this year.