Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin [LMT] company, transferred an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to defense electronics company Aselsan for use as a prototype for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP), Sikorsky said March 2.

The transfer will enable Sikorsky to integrate an Aselsan-developed avionics suite into Turkey’s new T70 utility helicopter and later into the Turkish-built S-70i Black Hawks planned to be sold internationally. The new avionics suite, the Integrated Modular Avionics System (IMAS) is a collaborative design by Turkey’s Aselsan, Sikorsky, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), and pilots from the Turkish Armed Forces. It aims to meet the requirements of Turkish T70 operators and other potential customers, Sikorsky said.

The Sikorsky-owned S-70i arrived at Aselsan’s facility in Ankara, Turkey on Feb. 25 after flying nine hours from Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec factory in southern Poland, the company said.

Sikorsky and Aselsan are co-developing the IMAS to include smart displays, point-and-click functionality to speed input of pilot commands, and ergonomic enhancements to the Pilot Vehicle Interface to reduce pilot workload. It also features navigational improvements including an integrated Terrain Avoidance Warning System, an integrated advanced digital map, and coupled flight control functions for guided approaches to landing zones all tailored to Turkish requirements, Sikorsky said.

IMAS is expected to be completed in time for initial deliveries of T70 aircraft to the Turkish end users in 2021. TAI leads a team of Turkish aerospace companies that will build upwards of 109 T70 TUHP helicopters. The overall TUHP program is valued at about $3.5 billion for all 109 aircraft, inclusive of the work set to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI, and other suppliers.

“Delivery of this S-70i prototype fulfills a major milestone for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program, and signals our continued close collaboration with Aselsan and the other aerospace companies led by TAI,” Sikorsky President Dan Schultz said in a statement.

“The employees of Sikorsky are honored that the largest international industrialization project in our 93-year history will help all the end-users fulfill their requirements for a modern utility helicopter based on the Black Hawk aircraft, while adding Turkish-developed avionics technology to further distinguish this proven platform,” he added.

Jason Lambert, Sikorsky TUHP Program Director, presented the S-70i keys to Dr. Faik Eken, Aselsan President and CEO, during a Feb. 1 arrival ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by officials from the Turkish government’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), the Turkish defense industry, Sikorsky, and an international diplomatic delegation with missions in Ankara, Sikorsky said.