Upgraded CH-53E makes first flight

The first CH-53E helicopter equipped with a new glass cockpit and avionics upgrade flew for the first time Nov. 10, on the U.S. Marine Corps’ 235th birthday.

Now that the first flight has been accomplished, the upgraded CH-53E Super Sea Stallion will now begin flight test which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2011.

The H-53 program office, PMA-261, and the Air Combat Electronics program office, PMA-209, served as the Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) for the CH-53E cockpit and avionics upgrade and worked together to ensure the integration of the upgrades was successful.

“The CH-53E cockpit and avionics upgrade is very significant and provides tremendous capability improvements for our Sea Stallion aircrews,” said Capt. Ralph Portnoy, program manager, PMA-209.

The first Marine Corps CH-53E helicopter with a glass cockpit and avionics upgrade making its first flight, on Nov. 10.

“Some of the new capabilities include Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management, with Required Navigation Performance Area Navigation, Mode S transponder, and 8.33 kHz radio channel spacing.”

“We also added Mode 5, Integrated Blue Force Tracker, Integrated Moving Map, Integrated Degraded Visual Environment/Brown Out Hover Cueing, Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System, Joint Mission Planning and a few others upgrades,” added Portnoy.

The CH-53E upgrade is another of many aircraft government LSI upgrades championed by PMA-209 and partnering with our fellow platform program office customers.

PMA-209 has also teamed on other platform integrations such as the U.S. Coast Guard’s HC-130H, PMA-261’s MH-53E and commencing next year are the Navy C-130T’s under PMA-207.


The first newly upgraded glass cockpit on a Marine Corps CH-53E



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