The 100,000-square-foot building will serve as the primary completion center for all BLACK HAWK and Naval HAWKTM derivative aircraft for the U.S. government and foreign military customers. BLACK HAWK derivative helicopters requiring customized configurations for a range of specialized missions will be manufactured at Sikorsky's Connecticut facilities and then transported to the HAWK WORKS center for completion. The new center also adds capacity for additional future military work.
About 100 new employees will staff the HAWK WORKS center, which is located approximately one quarter-mile from Schweizer's current facility.
"We are excited and proud to open this new building, but the significance of today's ceremony is much larger than the building itself. Sikorsky is increasing its global presence in the helicopter industry, and this new building represents a major step along that path," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. "As strategically envisioned, the HAWK WORKS center will fulfill several roles that are essential for our steady growth and continued competitiveness. These include strengthening our supply chain, enhancing our quality system through process discipline and standard work, and, most importantly, honoring the increasingly demanding expectations of our U.S. government and international customers."
The ceremony, held at Schweizer, was attended by representatives from congressional offices, state and Chemung County officials, and 100 Schweizer employees. Among the dignitaries were New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Congressman John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli, State Sen. George Winner, New York State Assemblyman Tom O'Mara, and Daniel Gundersen, Upstate Chair of the Empire State Development Corp.
Spitzer said, "Soldiers around the globe stake their lives on the BLACK HAWK name being the best in the world, and they can be assured that "Made in New York" means that the work on it is second to none." He added that Sikorsky's decision last year to locate the HAWK WORKS in New York, "helps continue to establish the Southern Tier as a pre-eminent base for the aerospace industry to expand for the 21st century."
"Completing the HAWK WORKS is a significant accomplishment and will greatly benefit the 29th District of New York," said Rep. Kuhl. "This opening is not only an important step in improving efficiency in these specialized aircrafts, it also creates over 100 jobs for New York State."
In addition, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was unable to attend but provided a statement, saying, "What a great day for Schweizer and for the entire Southern Tier. The new state-of-the-art HAWK WORKS facility is a testament to the abilities of a company that is helping to advance New York's reputation as a leader in aviation technology. In addition to supporting our military by providing a finishing center for BLACK HAWK and Naval Hawk aircraft, the jobs created here will also help to continue the economic growth of the region."
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. The company's mission statement reflects its long commitment to safety and innovation: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere... every timeTM." United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., 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.