Sikorsky Aircraft's Military and Commercial Programs Thriving as Company Charts Path for Future Growth
FARNBOROUGH, England, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW -- With a robust order book and busy production lines, Sikorsky Aircraft continues to invest in numerous development programs to pave the way for future growth, Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino said today at the Farnborough International Air Show. Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a business unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060403/SIKORSKYLOGO ) Pino, a retired Master Aviator with 26 years U.S. Army active, Reserve and National Guard experience, piloted an S-76(R) helicopter to the Farnborough Heliport at the show opening. Pino was named Sikorsky President March 8. "Anyone who's made a career in helicopters would be thrilled and honored to take over leadership of a company with the heritage and stature of Sikorsky Aircraft, especially at this time in history. We are poised at the front end of what promises to be an exceptional period of growth and innovation at Sikorsky Aircraft," Pino said. Sikorsky's revenue reached a record $2.8 billion in 2005 and its backlog has grown to about $8 billion from $6.9 billion in 2004. Current U.S. government production programs include the MH-60S and MH-60R for the U.S. Navy, and the UH-60 BLACK HAWK for the U.S. Army. The program of record is 271 and 254 for, respectively, the Navy's MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters. The U.S. Army's newest BLACK HAWK, the UH-60M, is in low rate initial production. A full-rate production decision to authorize more than 1,200 UH-60M aircraft is scheduled for 2007. "Our H-60 product lines are in a strong growth period as both the Army and Navy continue to replenish their fleets," Pino said. In April, Sikorsky was awarded a $3 billion System Development and Demonstration contract for the U.S. Marine Corps new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The SDD contract could lead to the production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace roughly an equal number of CH-53E SUPER STALLIONs(TM) in the Marine Corps' current inventory. Development money and production quantities for all government programs are determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities. The S-92(TM) helicopter and S-76 product lines continue to lead the resurgence in Sikorsky's commercial product line. Sikorsky delivered fewer than 10 commercial aircraft in 2002 and 49 in 2005. "One reason we are so optimistic about our future is that we see strong growth across all of our product lines," Pino said. In the past year the S-76 fleet passed 4 million flight hours and Sikorsky delivered the 600th aircraft in the series. In less than two years since the start of production deliveries, the S-92 fleet has already accumulated 20,000 flight hours. Offshore oil S-92 operators are flying in excess of 160 hours per month, a testament to the aircraft's robustness and ease of maintenance. Sikorsky's aftermarket business is also robust and currently makes up about half the company's revenue, Pino said. Recent aftermarket contract awards include: * A public/private depot partnership to provide total support for key dynamic components for 189 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps MH- and CH-53E heavy lift helicopters * Inspection and maintenance services required to restore up to 208 U.S. BLACK HAWKs per year to pre-deployment condition * Support services and maintenance for 382 U.S. Navy fixed wing training aircraft * An agreement to become a Service Center for Eurocopter helicopter models including the BO105, EC120, AS350 and the AS355 in the U.S. * Sikorsky will operate as a subcontractor to EADS North America to supply materials, technicians, field service teams, and related logistics services for UH-145 aircraft recently selected to fulfill the U.S. Army's Light Utility Helicopter requirement. Even with surging production, Sikorsky continues to invest in product development in order to sustain long term growth. In addition to the CH-53K for the Marine Corps, other current development programs include: * The S-76D(TM) helicopter, equipped with a new Sikorsky-Thales cockpit and new Pratt & Whitney Canada engines * The HH-92(TM) helicopter, the first S-92 military variant, to be delivered to Canadian forces beginning in 2008, with blade fold, tail fold and fly-by-wire * The first initial block upgrade for the U.S. Army's UH-60M BLACK HAWK will integrate the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and fly-by-wire system * The armed and airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM) versions of the U.S. Navy's MH-60S helicopter * The X2 Technology(TM) project to develop new high performance and high speed co-axial helicopters is on schedule to fly a demonstrator aircraft in late 2006 Over the past year, Sikorsky made two significant investments to insure it has sufficient capacity and flexibility to meet growing demand. In December, Sikorsky completed its acquisition of Keystone Helicopter in Pennsylvania. Keystone provides full-service engineering, completion and technical support for commercial helicopters. On June 5, Sikorsky announced plans to build a new 100,000-square-foot Rapid Prototyping and Military Derivatives Completion Center (RPMDCC) at its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary facility in Elmira, New York, USA. Branded as Sikorsky HAWK WORKS@Schweizer Aircraft(sm), the facility will serve as the primary completion center for all BLACK HAWK and Naval Hawk derivative aircraft, mostly for non-U.S. military customers. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high- technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries. This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
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