The US Air Force’s Combat Rescue Helicopter programme reached critical design review, giving the Sikorsky HH-60W the green light for assembly, test and evaluation.
Sikorsky, which reached CDR ahead of the projected July date, will replace the USAF’s aging HH-60Gs with 112 new helicopters at a cost of $73 million per unit. The entire programme, including research and development, procurement and flyaway costs is estimated at $9.8 billion, according to the latest selected acquisition report from the Pentagon. In 2014, the service awarded Sikorsky a $1.28 billion engineering manufacturing and development (EMD) contract, including integration of mission systems and delivery of four RDT&E articles. In January, the air force added another five aircraft through a $203 million contract option.