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Lockheed to design new software for US Navy’s MH-60 helicopters
Posted On: Sep 22, 2010
The MH-60R helicopter. A Lockheed photo
OWEGO, NEW YORK (BNS):
The US Navy has awarded a contract worth $10 million to Lockheed Martin to develop new software for the MH-60R and MH-60S multi-mission helicopter aircrews to effectively plan and execute their missions.
Under the contract, Lockheed will develop a software module that will be configured to the US military’s Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS). Developed by the US Navy and Air Force, the JMPS is based on a commercial-off-the-shelf architecture that standardises how aircrews arrange their mission flight plans.
The Lockheed-designed software will contain newest mission characteristics unique to the MH-60R and MH-60S choppers. These missions include anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, airborne mine countermeasures, search and rescue and ship-to-ship cargo resupply.
“The MH-60 module will give Navy SEAHAWK pilots access to the military’s most advanced mission planning tool, allowing pilots to easily capture and load pre-planned data in a format compatible between both helicopter types.
“Once airborne, the aircraft’s avionics will know what mission to prosecute, the intended route and navigation waypoints to use, the communications frequencies, weapons and, sensors it will employ, as well as other critical information,” said George Barton, director of Lockheed Martin naval helicopter programmes.
The digital cockpit of both the helicopters, designed by Lockheed, will carry the complete mission profile that will allow the pilots to select preconfigured mission plans, compile weather data, maps, navigational routes, targeting data and the types of weapons and sensors their aircraft will use for a mission.
Lockheed plans to develop and test the new software module in the next 30 months and make them deployable by 2012.
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