CRH Program Office holds successful Preliminary Design Review

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Officials from the Combat Rescue Helicopter Program Office located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base recently conducted a successful Preliminary Design Review of the new HH-60W aircraft.

The review involved approximately 200 participants to include Sikorsky Aircraft, prime subcontractors, the program office, and other external government organizations.

During the review, preliminary design information was provided which identified how the current design is meeting Key Performance Parameters and Key System Attributes. The review also demonstrated that the maturity of the design is close to a critical design level giving the program office and user community early insight into a final design.

Duane Sevey, chief engineer for the CRH Program Office said that the PDR was a success because the team identified and understood their challenges and had measures in place to resolve them, versus finding problems with the aircraft design later when it could be too late to correct them.

According to Sevey, the drive of the program office is to first and foremost ensure that the HH-60W is meeting program requirements and special emphasis is placed on ensuring there is no loss of capability from what is being used in the field today on the HH-60G. 

The HH-60W is baselined off of the Army Blackhawk UH-60M which has different mission sets. The program office identified operations and maintenance challenges for Sikorsky to focus on heading toward Critical Design Review.

"This design review was basically a non-event for the program office, especially my engineering team," said Sevey, who ensured his team worked closely with their Sikorsky counterparts to understand the requirements, verify the allocated baseline was documented properly, and agree on the design to be presented at the review. "This review was really for the user and the other external government organizations that are not as close to the program to ensure we haven't missed something." he said.  "Our goal was to identify any issues in advance of the review, capture them as action items and come out of the review with no new critical action items. The upfront work by the CRH team, to include a full PDR dry-run activity, allowed the program to accomplish that goal." 

Sevey said that everyone involved with the aircraft including the test community and future users were impressed with the PDR and walked away confident the program was on the right track.

"I'm proud of the efforts of our team," said Dave Schairbaum, senior program manager for CRH. "This program is very important to our warfighters because of the search and rescue capabilities it will provide, so, we have to get this right, and the men and women here are doing just that."

The Combat Rescue Helicopter Program Office falls under the management of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance & Special Operations Forces Directorate within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.