Sat, Oct 30, 2010
Upgraded Utility Helos For Air Transport In Afghanistan
The U.S. State Department has ordered a pair of upgraded S-61
utility helicopters for use in Afghanistan to support drug
interdiction efforts, Sikorksy announced Wednesday. Earlier this
year, the State Department entered into a five-year indefinite
delivery, indefinite quantity ("IDIQ") contract for up to 110
upgraded S-61 aircraft for passenger and cargo transport missions
in support of its worldwide operations.
This IDIQ purchase agreement serves as the contracting vehicle
for any U.S. Government agency to purchase upgraded S-61 aircraft.
As a result of this latest order, two aircraft will support the
U.S. Embassy and assist in the counternarcotics missions of the
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Afghanistan. Earlier
this month, the U.S. State Department ordered 11 additional
upgraded S-61 utility helicopters for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This order brings the total number of upgraded S-61 purchased to 17
aircraft. The first four aircraft ordered in February are currently
in completion and are scheduled for deployment in Afghanistan this
fall," added Anthony Serksnas, Director, S-61 Programs.
The S-61 helicopter is known as an industry workhorse, and for
more than 50 years has reliably and safely performed missions for
U.S. and foreign allied militaries. The upgraded S-61 incorporates
key components including composite main rotor blades (CMRB), a
state-of-the-art glass cockpit and modular wiring harness –
all of which dramatically improve aircraft supportability.
Additional features have been incorporated to reduce pilot fatigue
and maintenance requirements for increased safety.
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