Sea Knights Getting New Armor
Small business qualifier ArmorWorks, LLC in Tempe, AZ won a $5.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 164 Light Weight Armor Replacement System (LWARS) kits and six interim spares for the CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter, including field support services.
The overall goal of the CH-46E modifications is to keep the Sea Knight as a viable platform until replacement H-60S Knight Hawk helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors can be fielded from 2006-2012 or so. Given the increased tempo of US Navy and Marines operations in the Global War on Terror, and the resulting need for the CH-46’s services, some of those requirements have accelerated or intensified. Required upgrades include:
- Flight critical dynamic components
- The engine control system, the electrical system, and the T58-16 engine
- Installing on-board vibration monitoring equipment
- New rotor blades; and
- Replacing the existing steel plate armor with lighter weight armor.
Official airframe service life has also been extended from 10,000 hours to 15,000 hours. H-46 helicopters are used by the Marine Corps for troop transport and by the Navy for vertical replenishment of ships. More details may be found in this DID article.
Work on this contract will be performed in Tempe, AZ and is expected to be complete in December 2005. Note that ArmorWorks, LLC is currently hiring for a manufacturing engineer, shift workers, and quality control.
This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-04-C-0139).