Smiths Aerospace has recently been awarded the contract for the development and supply of its HUMS technology for the new Future Lynx Helicopter by AgustaWestland.

The contract, valued at $21 million, involves the implementation of the Smiths combined Health & Usage Monitoring System and Cockpit Voice & Flight Data Recorder (HUMS/CVFDR) on 70 Future Lynx aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence.

“With more than 400 HUMS and two million flight hours, Smiths is the world leader in the supply of HUMS for both military and commercial helicopter applications,” said Dr John Ferrie, President, Smiths Aerospace.

Development is due to commence this year at the Smiths facilities in Southampton, England and Michigan in the US. HUMS production deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2011.

HUMS will be integrated into 40 Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopters (BRH) for the Army and 30 Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft (SCMR) for the Navy.

The Smiths Aerospace HUMS is said to offer improved safety and reduced operating costs and can be readily configured for a variety of helicopters.

The Future Lynx HUMS will continuously monitor the fleet-wide health and performance of safety-critical components, providing advance warning of potential equipment failures and collecting valuable data for routine maintenance of each aircraft.

HUMS sensors monitor the health and usage of the engines, transmission, drive-train system, rotor system and airframe by detecting and diagnosing potential failures, recording usage, automating test procedures and providing alerts for potential maintenance actions.

The HUMS also provides continuous Rotor Track and Balance capability, negating the need for the installation of carry-aboard equipment and the overhead for dedicated RTB check flights.