Sikorsky says it successfully test flew its first upgraded S-61T helicopter in “late 2013.”
The S-61T is a substantially modernised version of the S-61/H-3/Sea King line featuring a complete structural refurbishment with enhanced crashworthiness, an integrated glass cockpit, a modular wiring harness, overhauled dynamic components, and a new composite main rotor.
Aircraft are restored from stored reserves, and the conversion process is said to take about six months once production is underway.
“The first flight of the S-61T represents a major milestone in the program,” Steven Rogers, Sikorsky’s director S-61 programs said in a statement. “The modernised S-61T helicopter can be outfitted to meet a wide variety of requirements, and we believe it provides best-in-class-value for a mid-size, multi-mission helicopter.”
Sikorsky currently has 13 S-61Ts under contract with the US Department of State for use in regions such as the Middle East, and a five-year agreement for up to 110 aircraft.