Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been awarded a contract for system design, development, integration and test of the Degraded Visual Environment System (DVES) on the U.S. Air Force (USAF)’s HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter fleet.
This system enables pilots to safely takeoff or land in aircraft-induced brownout and whiteout conditions, allowing them to move past operational limitations and address a challenge that costs the U.S. military in both lives and equipment.
Throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 58 percent of helicopter losses and 52 percent of fatalities have been attributed to controlled flight into terrain, wire and object strikes, or hard landings in Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) conditions.
“We are honored to provide the most advanced and capable DVE solution available today to our country’s combat search and rescue aircrews,” said Greg Cox, executive vice president for SNC’s Electronic & Information Systems business area. “Our DVE solutions leverage over a decade of experience and investment to provide the most mature, safe and comprehensive solution available for mitigating the effects of DVE.”
The DVES program will provide USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter combat search and rescue aircrews with a system to address the operational limitations posed by loss of visual situational awareness in aircraft-induced DVE.
The USAF DVES will increase mission capability and enhance safety by providing pilots with adequate situational awareness of uncharted terrain and obstacles for safe flight operations in DVE.
SNC’s DVE solutions provide increased flight safety and operational capability for all modes of flight in natural and aircraft-induced DVE by restoring pilot situational awareness through real‐time, multi‐sensor fused imagery.