At DSEI 2023 Lockheed Martin promoted a variant of its Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk for the UK New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme
The Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, Paul Livingstone said that between 24 and 36 helicopters would be produced by PZL Mielec in Poland and assembled in the UK by StandardAero in Gosport. The design authority for the UK variant would be in the UK. He expected that up to 40% of the Black Hawk ‘s components would be manufactured in the UK. There could also be potential exports worth up to £470 million over the next ten years from the UK assembly line. It would be powered by the GE Aviation’s T700 turboshaft engines.
Livingstone stressed the Black Hawk’s pedigree and the fact that it was designed from the outset as a military platform, as opposed to military variants of commercial helicopters that are being offered by other companies, and that more than 5,000 had been delivered to 35 countries since 1979.
The new variant would have improved crashability, being the only helicopter in which an injured pilot could be easily removed as the back of the Martin-Baker seat could be folded down for easy aircrew extraction. Martin-Baker is one of the Lockheed Martin team which includes Curtiss-Wright UK, Inzpire, Nova Systems, C3iA Solutions and Ascent Flight Training & CAE.
The NMH programme will replace the UK force’s Puma HC.2, Griffin HAR.2 Bell 212 AH1 and AS 365N3. The UK Ministry of Defence is expected to issue a formal invitation to negotiate (ITN) before that end of the year.
Photo courtesy Sikorsky