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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Sikorsky Sets Up New Unit to Tackle European Markets

PARIS AIR SHOW

Sikorsky Aircraft is marketing itself as a European operation, followings its acquisition this year of Poland’s PZL Mielec.

"Sikorsky is a dynamic company that is transforming its business in a number of ways to adapt to an ever-changing, global business environment," said Sikorsky President Jeff Pino. "As we move forward to expand our business globally, we are looking to the opportunity the European market affords Sikorsky to bring its proven products to new customers and regions."

The manufacturer has set up a separate company, Sikorsky Europe, to develop and build commercial and military aircraft opportunities in Europe, starting with the International Black Hawk unveiled at last year’s Farnborough Air Show. Mielec will build the International Black Hawks, said Bruce McKinney, vice president for Sikorsky Europe. The aircraft may be completed in Dublin, Ireland. Mielec will also continue the design, manufacture, flight test, and delivery of its own aircraft designs. Sikorsky began modernizing Mielec’s 1.2-million-sq-ft plant in April.

"Sikorsky is in Europe to stay," McKinney said, adding that the company expects to receive its first International Black Hawk orders by year’s end.

In other Sikorsky news at Le Bourget:

  • Pino said he expects the X-2 Technology Demonstrator to make its first flight late this year or early in 2008. He said the transmission has been fitted into the aircraft at Schweizer Aircraft.

  • He said Sikorsky is building one S-76C++ a week, with an order backlog of 80, and S-92 production is sold out for two years.

  • Sikorsky also expects the upgraded medium-twin S-76D to make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year.

  • The company delivered three UH-60L Black Hawks to the kingdom of Jordan, and five more are to be delivered this year. Jordan’s Special Operations Aviation Brigade will use the helicopters for special operations and border security.

  • The kingdom of Bahrain ordered nine UH-60Ms from the U.S. Army through the Foreign Military Sales process, making it the international launch customer for the newest and most advanced Black Hawk. The aircraft are to be used by the Royal Bahraini Air Force for combat search and rescue and other missions.

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