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H-92 Superhawk

The H-92 Superhawk is the military variant of the S-92. It is based on the new technology of the S-92 that utilizes experience from more than five million flight hours logged by UH-60/SH-60 (S-70) fleets in the field. The mission roles of the H-92 Superhawk include military utility, Head-of-State transport, anti-submarine warfare and combat search and rescue. The H-92 Superhawk was said by the manufacturer to offer 21st century safety, survivability, outstanding lift capability and speed. In addition, ease of maintenance provides a helicopter that was said to be available anytime, anywhere.

The H-92TM aircraft is a civil certified helicopter built for military operation. It combines advanced, certified technology and military technologies, incorporating some of the best design attributes of the legendary BLACK HAWK, SEAHAWK and the CH-53 lines. The H-92 helicopter has a rugged design for extreme mission endurance with efficiencies for multi-mission operation. The exceptionally large cabin of the H-92 helicopter delivers a range of interior options to maximize flexibility for military crews and maximize value for government operators.

Sikorsky H-92TM helicopters were built to perform in confined areas. An H-92 helicopter crew can operate in the most difficult conditions, clearing obstacles with greater ease and landing in the tight spots other aircraft avoid. Because of its size, the H-92 aircraft is transportable by sea, air, ground and rail. It takes less than two hours to prepare, load and deploy.

The H-92 helicopter is Sikorskys premier twin-engine medium-lift helicopter specially adapted for the rigors of military missions. Cost-effective to own and operate, the H-92 helicopter performs troop transport, combat search and rescue, medical evacuation and head of state missions throughout the world. The aircraft incorporates modern technology throughout, including an advanced cockpit with an avionics management system that provides audio cues and intuitive flight symbology on four fully redundant liquid crystal displays.

The H-92 helicopter offers military customers an ideal platform for medical evacuation missions. With its useful load of 9,748 pounds (4,421 kg) in utility configuration and spacious cabin, the H-92 aircraft has the ability to lift up to 6 patients, attendants and specialized medical equipment with utmost ease. The speed and long range of the H-92 helicopter maximizes the chance of reaching patients during the critical "Golden Hour". The all weather operation features of the H-92 helicopter- EGPWS, TCAS, weather radar, anti-ice and rotor ice protection- expand its ability to fly in challenging environments. Armor and aircraft survivability systems allow military crews to get the job done under fire. The H-92 helicopter cabin is designed to be multi-mission, allowing rapid reconfiguration so that Medevac operators can meet r demanding mission needs.

The multi-mission H-92 helicopter has the strength to perform the most rigorous of tasks. The H-92 helicopter is autonomous in the field, designed for easy maintenance. The built-in reliability of the H-92 helicopter assures maximum mission readiness and minimal cost of ownership while providing a flexible platform for transporting personnel and cargo when and where needed.

To meet the most demanding 21st century aviation service needs, Sikorsky service and support brings together OEM expertise along with unique experiences to support rotary wing aircraft. From spares, overhaul and repair to programs such as performance-based logistics, contractor logistics support and military depot partnerships, Sikorsky offers services designed to increase flying time, improve ease of use and reduce cost of ownership. Customers are able to focus on the mission, flying the aircraft without worrying about parts availability and escalating service costs.

By 2007 the Sikorsky S-92 was in use by heads of state in South Korea, Kuwait, Turkey and Turkmenistan, and had been ordered for similar duty in Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. The FAA had approved the helicopter for installation of protective countermeasures, and it could be adapted to the Marine One role.

VH-92 Marine One

Members of the All-American VH-92 Team collaborated to respond to the US Navy's Request for Proposal (RFP) for the VXX competition, the US Government's official designation for the Presidential helicopter replacement program.

The Presidential version of the aircraft, the VH-92, would have featured uprated engines and enhanced safety features, all brought together in an airframe to provide Presidential comfort and security. Like all S-92s, the VH-92 had key safety features that were certified to the world's then most demanding rotorcraft safety standards: FAR Part 29, Amendment 45. These included flaw tolerant components, tested to perform perfectly even when known defects have been introduced, engine-out performance that allows pilots to fly home or land safely at mission weights, triple electrical systems, triple hydraulics with automatic leak detection; redundant, separated flight controls, and a unique redundant, suction feed fuel system that eliminates dangerous pressurized fuel leaks.

Other safety features included fuel cells that were external to the passenger cabin and self-sealing, rated to withstand up to 23 mm ballistic strike. The aircraft was protected against lightning strikes, high intensity radiation fields, and icing conditions throughout the expected mission envelope. Turbine burst protection and resistance to bird strikes were also designed in, features unique among aircraft competing for the Presidential mission. Other VH-92 standard safety features included ballistic tolerance to deal with ground threats.

The VH-92 built on all the lessons about reliability and safety that Sikorsky had learned through more than five million flight hours of the H-60 (S-70) family helicopters. Versions of those robust machines were flown by every branch of the United States armed forces, and by the governments of 25 nations outside the United States.

Sikorsky had provided helicopters to the White House for every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower. That wealth of experience was behind many design decisions that went into the VH-92. For example, even though the VH-92's cabin was larger than that of the current Presidential fleet, the VH-92 was the only helicopter competing for the White House mission that required no disassembly to fit inside either C-5 or C-17 transport aircraft.

Sikorsky also had a fully DoD security-compliant manufacturing and support infrastructure already in place. This was a key advantage for the accelerated schedule on which these aircraft was to be procured, allowing Sikorsky to provide mission-ready VH-92s by the initially project IOC date of 2008.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation announced in January 2004 the formation of the All-American VH-92 Team, an enhanced set of all-American alliances for its bid to win the next generation Presidential helicopter. The proposed VH-92 variant and the empennages would not have been built in China, as with the S-92.

The members of the All American VH-92 Team included:

  • Sikorsky Aircraft, of Stratford, Connecticut, who would lead the team and serve as the prime system integrator, including aircraft and system design, component manufacturing, final assembly and in-service support.
  • FlightSafety International, of New York, New York, who would provide simulation and training equipment.
  • L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, headquartered in Greenville, Texas, who would provide mission communications systems and the aircraft interior furnishings.
  • Northrop Grumman, of Rolling Meadows, Illinois and San Jose, California, who would provide aircraft survivability systems.
  • Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who would provide major cockpit systems.
  • Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas, Texas, who would provide integrated aerostructures.
  • General Electric Aircraft Engines, of Lynn, Massachusetts, who would supply its CT7-8C engine.

This alliance was previously announced at the 2003 Paris Air Show.

The Department of Defense announced on 28 January 2005, that the team led by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, New York, had been selected to build the new presidential helicopter (VXX) based on its US101 Marine One medium lift helicopter. This $1.7 billion, cost plus award fee contract was expected to launch the VXX program's system development and demonstration phase during which the program would integrate a "system of systems" with a modern, in-production aircraft to provide the president with safe and reliable helicopter transportation. This first effort, the VH-71 program, was canceled in 2009 due to significant cost growth, schedule delays, and performance issues.

CH-148 Cyclone

Sikorsky's H-92 Superhawk was selected as the Canadian Force's new Maritime Helicopter, to be known as the CH-148 Cyclone. The Maritime Helicopter Project to replace the SH-3 Sea King was initiated in the 1980s. Brian Mulroney's Conservative government first tried to replace the Sea Kings in 1992, reaching a $5.8-billion deal to buy 50 EH101 Merlin helicopters. Soon after the 1993 election the deal was scrapped by the Liberal government under then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who paid $500 million in penalties to get out of the contract. The Canadian Air Force's only dedicated search and rescue (SAR) helicopter at the time, the CH-149 Cormorant, was a variant of th EH101.

In late 2003 there was a call for tenders, with a winner was announced in July of 2004. Sikorsky was awarded contracts in November 2004 to provide the 28 maritime helicopters and to provide in-service support for those helicopters. The $3.2B contract included airframes and integrated systems. The 20-year parts/training package was a $1.8B deal covering construction and operation of the Maritime Helicopter Training Centre at CFB Shearwater.

The CH-148 Cyclone, a variant of the Sikorsky H-92 SuperhawkT maritime helicopter was initially scheduled to be delivered in November 2008. In January 2008 the Canadian Press reported the new helicopters to replace Canada's aging fleet of Sea Kings would likely be delayed up to 30 months. The military's chief of defence staff said he was frustrated by the delay. Gen. Rick Hillier said Canada's military must shed a reputation for using outdated equipment. "We've become world class at maintaining old equipment, and we don't want to be world class at maintaining old equipment," Hillier said following a speech in Halifax.

Sikorsky joined with General Dynamics Canada and L-3 MAS Canada to form The Maritime Helicopter Team, which would develop, certify and field the new Cyclone fleet. General Dynamics Canada, based in Ottawa, Ontario, was responsible for the Cyclone's systems integration. General Dynamics Canada was awarded the contract to become the system integrator for Canada's new shipborne helicopter, the CH148 Cyclone. General Dynamics Canada's role involves the selection, purchase, integration and installation of all the mission systems for the fleet of 28 aircraft. These mission systems include radar, ESM, acoustics, self-defence, navigation and communication systems. L-3 MAS, based in Mirabel, Quebec, was responsible for long-term in-service support of the Cyclone for the Canadian Forces. MHP office staff would also be co-located at General Dynamics Canada and S-3 MAS facilities.

The Cyclone helicopter's flaw-tolerant design and other advances provided a margin of safety and reliability. The Cyclone would be multi-mission capable and would perform surface surveillance and control, subsurface surveillance and control, and utility operations that included search and rescue, passenger and cargo transfer, medical evacuations and tactical transport in support of national, North American and international security.

The Cyclone would conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), surveillance, and search and rescue (SAR) missions. It would also provide tactical transport for national and international security efforts. This twin-engine helicopter was compatible with the then latest high-tech frigates and included several new safety features. Its aluminum and composite airframe was built with lightning-strike and high-intensity radio frequency (RF) pulse protection. The aircraft also incorporated flaw tolerance and engine burst containment. The Cyclone had day-and-night capability, and could fly in all weather conditions and in temperatures ranging from -40C to +55C. With a maximum speed of 306 km/h, the CH-148 was almost twice as fast as the Sea King. The Cyclone could also fly 925 km without refuelling, more than three times farther than its predecessor.

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