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Lightweight, Reconfigurable UH-60 Floor Topic


OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials; Air Platform OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this topic is to develop structural armor floor system that can be used as a lightweight, reconfigurable floor for the UH-60 fleet that meets the following requirements: • Replaces current OEM floor; • Provides similar configurational flexibility • Compatible with commercially available, load rated, seat track hardware • Adaptable to other DoD legacy airframes; and • Provides ability to add integrated armor/mission equipment without compromising airframe strength, floor armor function, or decreasing cabin volume. • Saves weight and is economical to produce DESCRIPTION: Today we use multiple floor systems and pallets. The legacy aircraft floor is not ballistic protected and does not have seat tracks for the medical interior. The medical interior is a new floor overlayed onto the existing floor. Ballistic Armor Protection System (BAPS) becomes a third overlay, further increasing overall aircraft weight. The current limits are in structural armor material that also saves weight and can be made economically. The purpose of this topic is to develop and qualify structural armor floor system. R&D work for suitable structural armor material as well as packaging the flooring in way to save weight is a challenge. Currently medical interior is a palletized floor overlay that addresses capability gaps and design deficiencies of the current floor and allows for simplified configurability to support the aircraft’s multiple mission sets. The proposed floor replacement solution replaces both the OEM floor and the MIU, providing additional functionality to all UH-60 variants at a reduced weight and allows ballistic armor/mission kits to be installed without compromising floor functionality. The development and qualification will require an integrated engineering effort, combining structural/mechanical design with several novel materials technologies that are new to the H-60 platform including: • Novel para-aramid structural/ballistic material • Next-generation Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE)/Polyolefin ballistic composite material • Boron-carbide (B4C)-based ceramics, including those produced by 3D printing. The replacement of the legacy UH-60 floor with the anticipated lightweight floor will not only reduce the overall weight of the fully outfitted aircraft (mission equipment and armor), thus extending mission duration, but modernizing the floor will also extend the service life of the aircraft allowing simplified integration of new capabilities and a smoother transition to FVL in the future. Success will be measured by system weight reduction as other qualitative metrics have already been demonstrated by the MIU. PHASE I: Develop and demonstrate a replacement floor for the UH-60 that provides the mission configuration flexibility of the MIU but is permanently installed on the airframe. Provide the conceptual design or model for the floor including optional armor. Develop a test plan to demonstrate the floor can meet all structural, vibrational and impact loads. The deliverable for this phase will be a report detailing the new design and test plans to demonstrate its functionality. PHASE II: Refine the system design and produce a technology demonstration system and test coupons per the test plan. Demonstrate that the system can meet the requirements as detailed in the test plan. Develop install procedures and install the test article system. Deliverables include one (1) prototype system and all test reports, design review repots and high-level drawings. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Finalize the development of the design solution at production level quantities. Complete EMD and MRR. Prepare to enter LRIP. Note: Lightweight armor will mostly be a government / defense technology, but there are potential commercial applications such as armored vehicles. Body armor and ruggedized drones, while still mostly government markets, are other adjacent use cases. Aerospace armor is another largely government market, although the proliferation of commercial space players could add a private revenue stream. REFERENCES: Robeson, M. E. (2014). Lightweight Integrally Armored Helicopter Floor. Aircraft Survivability Journal, 14(Spring), 25–28. Bird, C., Robeson, M., & Goodworth, A. (2011). Integrally Armored Helicopter Floor. Aircraft Survivability Journal, 2011(Spring), 9–12. KEYWORDS: floor; reflooring; helicopters; armor; fabrication; reconfigurable
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