This delivery culminates nearly three years of advanced design, development, testing and manufacturing to provide sponsons for the CH-53K helicopter. These assemblies represent a significant technology advancement by applying composite materials — versus traditional metals — to military aircraft that operate in harsh environments.
Sponsons attach to each side of a helicopter fuselage and house important components, such as landing gear, fuel, and other mechanical and electrical assemblies without compromising interior passenger or cargo space. Each sponson is 25 feet long by 4 feet wide and 5 feet high. This delivery supports the first prototype aircraft, with future potential to support 200 aircraft during the life of the program.
The CH-53K helicopter program is using proven and mature technologies that will significantly expand the fleet's capability in comparison to its predecessor, the CH-53E helicopter, by tripling the aircraft's lift in high and hot environments while reducing support and maintenance costs.
In addition, the composite sponsons are designed to be significantly more resilient to the environmental conditions, ballistics and in-flight stress, while allowing for increased cabin width without a change in vehicle footprint.
To meet the demanding weight, durability and affordability objectives of the CH-53K helicopter program, ITT is employing the latest composite design and manufacturing technologies for these important flight structures, including electronic model control, laser-ply projection, five-axis computer numerically controlled machining, automated trimming and drilling, as well as laser and ultrasonic inspection of all subassemblies.
"We've brought the best of our composite technology and experience to produce a stronger, more durable and operationally flexible aircraft to help the Marines perform their critical missions," said Jim Barber, vice president for ITT's Integrated Structures business area. "ITT is committed to growing our composites business so we can serve our customers' needs."
Production will be accomplished at ITT's Electronic Systems facility in Salt Lake City, Utah.
ITT Electronic Systems is a leading supplier of information and electronic warfare (EW) technologies, systems and services that enable mission success and survivability. Key technologies include integrated EW systems for a variety of aircraft, reconnaissance and surveillance systems for air and sea-based applications, force protection and counter-IED systems, precision landing and air traffic systems for military applications, and under sea systems encompassing mine defense, naval command and sonar systems, and acoustic sensors. In addition, ITT Electronic Systems produces aircraft armament suspension and release equipment, electronic weapons interface systems, and advanced composite structures and subsystems.
About ITT Corporation
ITT Corporation (itt.com) is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management, global defense and security, and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety and connect our world. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company reported 2009 revenue of $10.9 billion.
Investor Contact: Thomas Scalera / T: +1 914 641 2030 / E: thomas.scalera[.]itt.com.