Multi-Station Lightweight Armament Support System (MLASS)
The MLASS is a lightweight, corrosion resistant weapons support structure that is custom designed to fit onto Sikorsky’s UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Each MLASS “wing” is designed to support two (2) ALKAN suspension racks.
AGC AeroComposites began working with the U.S. Army on the MLASS product in 2012. The initial customer for the system is the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). This was a follow-on project to the successful LASS (Lightweight Armament Support Structure) which was fielded in 2011. The MLASS supports dual weapon pylons as opposed to LASS pylons, which support only a single weapons station.
MLASS is designed to provide two critical benefits. The first benefit is enhanced firepower enabled by the multi-station weapon configuration. The other benefit is weight savings when compared to Sikorsky’s metallic External Stores Support System (ESSS).
The MLASS fits existing Sikorsky’s UH-60M interfaces and uses the same attachment points as the ESSS. Each structure can support a variety of weapon systems including the M230 Chain Gun, M261 Rocket Launcher and M299 Missile Launcher. Each pylon can support up to four (4) Hellfire missiles.
- Full carbon structure with aluminum fittings
- Single strut design
- Design incorporates a dropped and moderately swept wing
- Easy-connect electrical stores chassis
- Meets all U.S. Army service load requirements, including stress and environmental testing
- 35% weight reduction compared to fully configured ESSS shipset*
- Composite structure offers superior corrosion resistance, damage tolerance, and fatigue life over the all metal ESSS
- Wing design (lower and swept) enables better crew visibility
- Design maintains a neutral lift and reduces drag compared to ESSS
- Single strut design along with integrated wiring access covers provide ease of maintenance and installation … less than 2 hours to convert a “slick” aircraft to a weaponized configuration
- The first two MLASS products have been delivered to the Army, and are currently undergoing testing. Airworthiness Release (AWR) is scheduled to be completed the first half of 2016.
- AGC AeroComposites is currently on contract to produce eight (8) more shipsets, with delivery expected to be completed summer of 2016.
MLASS Installed onto UH-60M Black Hawk Test Aircraft