Friday, January 1, 2010
The Egyptian Air Force, with an assist from American taxpayers, is providing new work for two U.S. helicopter facilities under separate contracts. A foreign aid grant will pay for a $17.35-million contract awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command on November 12 to AgustaWestland North America Inc. to do depot level maintenance on three Egyptian Air Force Mk-2 variant H-3 transport helicopters. NAVAIR is handling the contract under Foreign Military Sales regulations.
AgustaWestland North America will completely refurbish all major structural components of the aircraft at its two-year-old, 88,000-square-foot repair and overhaul facility in Hagerstown, Md. The company says the work, to be completed by December 2010, would add 20 jobs to the facility’s workforce of 26.
The 1970s-vintage Mk-2s were built in the United Kingdom by Westland Helicopters under license from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., whose H-3 entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1959. AgustaWestland has done similar work for the Egyptians before, just not in its new Hagerstown facility, a company spokesman said.
The H-3 award followed a November 3 announcement by the U.S. Army Contracting Command of another Foreign Military Sales contract worth $5.36 million to Sikorsky to refurbish an Egyptian Air Force UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter used for VIP transport. Egypt owns eight VIP UH-60s equipped with upholstered seats and mahogany interiors. The Connecticut-based company’s Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance will do the work at Chase Field in Beeville, Texas, a former U.S. Naval Air Station.