Army picks 'Air Warrior' contractor

The Army has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Corp., Falls Church, Va., to develop and integrate the Air Warrior Block 3 system, a 'soldier-as-a-system' solution that includes an integrated aviator helmet system, enhanced voice/data communication capability and an upgraded microclimate cooling unit.

The five-year contract is worth an estimated $30 million.

The Air Warrior program is a development and production program for Army aircrew equipment that standardizes and integrates aviation life support equipment designed to sustain aircrews throughout the flight environment by increasing mission effectiveness and providing means of safe and reliable escape, survival and recovery in emergency or combat situations.

'The Air Warrior system will provide helicopter crews increased mission effectiveness through aviator-centered system design with high-technology electronics and survival equipment,' said Mark Fried, president and general manager of General Dynamics C4 Systems, the group responsible for the program.

The Block 3 system will be compatible with several types of helicopter, including the CH-47 Chinook, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, AH-64 Apache and US-60 Blackhawk, and will be designed for future interoperability with the Army's Land Warrior and Future Combat Systems programs.

General Dynamics will be partnering with Boeing Co. of Chicago; Dynamics Research Corp. of Andover, Mass.; Foster-Miller Inc of Waltham, Mass.; Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. of Windsor Locks, Conn.; Kaiser Electro-Optics Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif.; Navigator Development Group Inc. of Enterprise, Ala., and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of Stratford, Conn.

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