For Sikorsky, It's Black Hawk Up

December 14th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: For Sikorsky, It's Black Hawk Up

Hartford Courant
December 13, 2007
Pg. E1
Has $7.4 billion deal for 537 helicopters
By Eric Gershon, Courant Staff Writer
This time last year, United Technologies Corp. executives were lamenting a series of major setbacks at the company's Sikorsky Aircraft unit, including the lingering effects of a six-week strike early in 2006.
Today UTC and Sikorsky have at least 7.4 billion reasons to celebrate.
After the stock markets closed Wednesday, Stratford-based Sikorsky announced what a spokesman described as the aircraft maker's single biggest deal ever - a $7.4 billion whopper for 537 Black Hawk helicopters to be delivered to the U.S. Army and Navy over the next five years.
The contract could be worth up to $11.6 billion if the military exercised options for 263 more aircraft, spares and other parts, the company said.
The deal includes several varieties of the H-60, including the UH-60M and HH-60M Medevac for the Army and the MH-60S and R Sea Hawks for the Navy. Assembly of the aircraft takes place at Sikorsky's Stratford plant, with finishing work at a subsidiary in upstate New York.
The UH-60M is the latest Black Hawk developed by Sikorsky and comes with a new airframe, avionics and propulsion system, the company said.
Helicopters have taken a beating in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's the most worn out part of the U.S. military's inventory," said aerospace and defense analyst Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. "They suffer the most from a harsh operating environment and in some cases small arms fire. The fleet is in very rough shape. And even if they weren't, some of the earlier machines are coming up on 25 years old." Sikorsky is the only U.S. firm with an "off-the-shelf" product the military could turn to, he said.
Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson was unable to say Wednesday evening whether the deal would result in new hiring. Sikorsky has already done a lot of it in 2007, he said, adding 866 employees in Connecticut alone - 355 of them hourly wage earners, 511 of them salaried employees. Total Connecticut employment now stands at about 8,340. Worldwide it is about 14,230.
Sikorsky warned that production and delivery schedules would depend on congressional funding levels year to year.
News of the deal came on the eve of UTC's annual year-end conference with Wall Street analysts, scheduled for today in New York. The company is expected to report that the weak housing market continues to hurt Carrier Corp., its biggest unit by revenue. Carrier is the world's largest maker of air conditioners.
Sikorsky, meanwhile, continues to fight with rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin for an Air Force contract that could be worth up to $15 billion. Boeing initially won the contract to supply the Air Force's next combat search-and-rescue helicopter, in November 2006. But Sikorsky and Lockheed successfully protested the outcome twice. The companies have until early next month to submit fresh bids. Winning the contract would give Sikorsky its first big military order for the military version of its S-92.
This time last year, Sikorsky was not only struggling to make up for work delayed by the strike of its Teamsters workforce, but also to assuage government concerns that a subcontractor was performing shoddy work.
December 14th, 2007  
A Can of Man
That's good news. Finally they're doing something that makes sense: just buying the same old hardware instead of waiting for some new model and then rushing it into service.
December 14th, 2007  

Topic: Great news

This is great news and more sales will come off this one too including overseas sales as well it's a win, win situation.

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