WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), has delivered to the Colombian Army two S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopters incorporating a Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS) as standard equipment. Colombia is the first country to field S-70i helicopters equipped with HTAWS, which Sikorsky has customized for the unique requirements of the combat assault and utility missions.
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"HTAWS will give military operators 360-degree situational awareness in low visibility, day or night, and at altitudes as low as 75 feet," said
, Sikorsky Vice President of Army and Air Force Programs. "As a new baseline capability for all S-70i BLACK HAWK aircraft, this high resolution system will enable aircrews to perform their demanding missions with greater safety and effectiveness."
Sikorsky delivered the two HTAWS-equipped S-70i helicopters to Colombian Army officials
during a ceremony at the company's Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in
West Palm Beach
. Colombian aircrew then flew the two aircraft to the Army Special Operation Aviation Military base in Tolemaida, a distance of almost 3,000 nautical miles. The aircraft arrived
after approximately 30 hours of flight.
is the first South American country to buy the S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter variant, which Sikorsky first delivered to an international military customer in 2010. These two aircraft will join five other S-70i helicopters in
acquired in January.
Developed in collaboration with Sandel Avionics, the military HTAWS consists of a dedicated sunlight-readable display compatible with night vision goggles located in the center of the S-70i aircraft's instrument panel. Integrated with the aircraft's dual GPS/INS system and digital map, radar altimeter, heading system and air data computer, the system displays the GPS location, along with terrain, roads, obstacles and transmission lines. Audible warnings via the aircraft's internal communications system alert the pilots to obstacles. Pilots can adjust the system to one of four sensitivity modes — Normal, Low, Tactical, and Obstacles Only — designed to reduce false alerts when missions call for flight operations at increasingly closer proximity to the ground.