Lockheed Martin delivers a multi-million dollar order to one of its biggest customers. Officials from the Navy made the trip up to the Southern Tier to accept the helicopter order at Lockheed's Owego plant Wednesday. Our Janelle Burrell was there for the presentation.
OWEGO, N.Y. -- They have helped the Navy navigate through enemy combat zones and have even aided in saving some of their own.
"Moments count. If there was a problem with that aircraft and that aircraft could not have launched, this young kid would not be alive today," Capt. Mike Cashman of the U.S. Navy.
Navy Captain Mike Cashman credits the Lockheed Martin Common Cockpits aboard the MH-60-Romeo and MH-60-Sierra helicopters as a critical tool for the Navy, which is why he came from Virginia to Lockheed's Owego plant to personally accept the delivery from the Lockheed team.
"We do everything from anti ship warfare to combat search and rescue to vertical delivery to mine warfare. And the Sierra is a game changer," Cashman.
The delivery is part of the recent $38 million contract option with the Navy. The partnership on the helicopter cockpits began about a decade ago and in that time, the so-called nerve-center of the choppers have evolved with improvements in technology.
"It has significant capability, it has daylight readable cockpit, night vision goggle capable," said George Barton, director Lockheed's Naval Helicopter Program. "It basically makes the cockpit way more intuitive, probably most intuitive cockpit we have out there in naval aviation today."
"It's a strong, strong workhorse," Cashman added.
One navy officials will continue to depend on. They plan to buy an additional 600 cockpits by 2015.
Lockheed Martin is partnering with Sikorsky to make the upgrades to the Navy aircraft fleet.