Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino outlined the new BLACK HAWKs during a media briefing at the Farnborough International Air Show.
An International BLACK HAWK helicopter produced with global partners and delivered from outside the United States. The International BLACK HAWK will provide multi-mission, 10-ton utility lift capability at a price comparable to helicopters in the 6-to-8 ton class.
An Armed BATTLEHAWKTM helicopter with an integrated electronics warfare suite and full compliment of armaments either as a new build aircraft or as a kit that can be retrofitted onto existing BLACK HAWK platforms. BATTLEHAWK will provide a combination of medium lift capability and firepower that cannot be duplicated by current dedicated utility or attack platforms
"The International BLACK HAWK and Armed BATTLEHAWK will incorporate new technologies, state-of-the-art systems and modern manufacturing techniques," Pino said. "These new models build upon the legacy of excellence and continuous improvement that has characterized the BLACK HAWK throughout its history. As technology has changed and improved, the BLACK HAWK platform has evolved so that it continues to set the standard for versatile multi-mission medium lift utility helicopters."
Both will remain true to the BLACK HAWK's legendary combat-proven heritage. To emphasize the point, Pino displayed a photo of a BLACK HAWK flown by an international customer that returned home safely after a rocket propelled grenade blasted a gaping hole in the fuselage. "The BLACK HAWK has proven time after time that it is capable, durable and survivable," Pino said.
The International BLACK HAWK will be designed with a modular platform that can be configured to meet specific customer requirements. Common elements will include a digital cockpit with four-axis advanced flight control systems, coupled flight director, active vibration controls, and dual pilot IFR. "This platform will accommodate customer demand with an affordable, capable, and adaptable aircraft," Pino said.
Sikorsky plans to build, assemble and deliver the International BLACK HAWK for global customers outside the United States. Doing so will allow Sikorsky to focus domestic operations on U.S. military production and ensure that the company can build the International BLACK HAWK for the global market within an affordable cost structure.
Sikorsky is currently evaluating several companies from various countries to take part in the project. "This is part of Sikorsky's long-range strategic objective to globalize operations and expand our supply base with qualified, cost-competitive manufacturers and service providers from across the world," Pino said.
Key milestones in the program will be validation of the financial model and formalization of agreements with the international participants in the program.
The Armed BATTLEHAWK will come equipped with a full suite of armed reconnaissance and attack capabilities, including an integrated helmet display, C4I system, missiles, rockets, and a turreted gun. "Shrinking budgets and changing battlefield environments call for an effective multi-purpose aircraft for governments that have both an attack and utility requirement," Pino said.
Armed BATTLEHAWK will provide medium lift capability that can be used in either combat or peace time, including troop transport, search and rescue, and disaster relief. "Armed BATTLEHAWK will save resources and provide operational efficiencies by reducing the need for additional platforms, training facilities, and support infrastructure," Pino said.
More than 2,800 BLACK HAWK variants have been delivered to 25 governments worldwide since 1978, accumulating more than 7 million combined flight hours.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. 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.