Farnborough 2016: Lockheed Martin unveils new armed Black Hawk | World Defense

Farnborough 2016: Lockheed Martin unveils new armed Black Hawk


Dec 5, 2014
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Farnborough 2016: Lockheed Martin unveils new armed Black Hawk
Gareth Jennings, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016

The new armed Black Hawk provided the centrepiece for Lockheed Martin's pavilion at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings
Lockheed Martin has leveraged its Missiles and Fire Control division to develop, with its Sikorsky subsidiary, an armed version of the S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopter, which it launched at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016 during the week of 11 to 17 July.

Speaking at the event on 12 July, Bill Gostic, vice president Global Military Systems and Services outlined the philosophy behind the armed variant of the venerable transport helicopter, and how it was made possible by pooling the resources of the two newly joined companies.

"Why arm the Black Hawk? It is trusted and it is versatile," Gostic said. "The world today is unstable and budgets are tight - militaries need options, and the armed Black Hawk provides them. We believe that this is the right time for an armed Black Hawk that combines a reduction in the pilot workload with lethality and versatility."

With Sikorsky as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the Black Hawk, Lockheed Martin has brought missiles and fire control expertise to the project in terms of integrating the weapons package into the aircraft's existing flight management system. Indeed, although the two companies only formally merged in November 2015, their history of collaboration on the Black Hawk-series of helicopters goes back many years, and is most recently shown in the MH-60R Seahawk for the US Navy.

"Since the acquisition, we have been exploring synergies that might give added value to the customer," Gostic said.

In terms of the armed Black Hawk, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have built two testbed platforms at the PZL Swidnik factory in Poland, one of which provided the centrepiece for the former's Farnborough pavilion. As shown at the event, the platform features four tub-wing hardpoints carrying four AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles (ASMs); two 70 mm Hydra 19-shot rocket pods; and an FN Herstal 12.7 mm heavy machine gun pod (HMP).