"Four Pillars," Seven Programs Set To Take Off
Touting its busy production lines
and a schedule of first flights for seven programs in 2008,
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. continues to chart a path for future growth
after doubling revenues over the last four years, Sikorsky
President Jeffrey P. Pino told attendees Monday at the Farnborough
International Air Show.
Sikorsky established "four pillars of growth" -- growth with
margin expansion, excellence in execution, technological
leadership, and globalization -- as a guide for company progress
two years ago at the Farnborough show. "To say that I am excited at
the prospects of growth and industry-changing innovation is an
understatement. Sikorsky in 2008 is poised to mark an unprecedented
period of milestones and growth," Pino said.
Sikorsky's revenue reached a record $4.8 billion in 2007, and
its backlog has grown to $12 billion from $6.9 billion in 2004.
Current US government production programs include the MH-60S and
MH-60R helicopters for the US Navy, and the UH-60 Black Hawk
helicopter for the US Army.
The programs call for 271 and 298 of the Navy's MH-60S and
MH-60R helicopters, respectively. Sikorsky is in full-rate
production for the US Army's newest Black Hawk, the UH-60M. This
program is expected to produce more than 1,200 aircraft. "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 addition, Sikorsky is developing the CH-53K heavy lift
helicopter for the US Marine Corps under a $3 billion System
Development and Demonstration contract. The SDD contract could lead
to the production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace roughly an
equal number of CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters 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
The S-92 helicopter and S-76 helicopter product lines continue
to lead the resurgence in Sikorsky's commercial aircraft business.
"The H-92 helicopter, a military version of our S-92 aircraft, is
on static display here in Farnborough, and we are preparing to
bring it on a world tour beginning in Europe. We at Sikorsky are
very optimistic about our future, as we see strong growth across
all of our product lines, and the S-92 helicopter and its variants
are a key component of that future growth," Pino said.
In May, the S-76 fleet passed 5 million flight hours, and
Sikorsky delivered the 700th aircraft in the series earlier this
year. In approximately four years since the start of production
deliveries, the S-92 helicopter fleet has accumulated 100,000
flight hours. Offshore oil S-92 helicopter operators are flying
between 130 and 170 hours per month, a testament to the aircraft's
sturdiness and ease of maintenance.
In Sikorsky's global operations, modernization projects continue
at the PZL Mielec facility in Poland, and the first Black Hawk
helicopter cabins are due to be delivered from there later this
year. In China, S-76 helicopters are now being built under a joint
venture of Shanghai Sikorsky and AVIC II.
In addition to the CH-53K helicopter for the Marine Corps, other
current development programs include The International Black Hawk
helicopter, to be produced at PZL Mielec with deliveries expected
to begin in 2011; The H-92 helicopter, the first military variant
of the S-92 helicopter, is scheduled to fly in the fourth quarter.
Twenty-eight of these militarized S-92 helicopters are scheduled to
be built for the Canadian Air Force.
Sikorsky is also working on the UH-60M Upgrade helicopter,
scheduled to fly in the third quarter. This latest version of the
Black Hawk helicopter is a fly-by-wire aircraft with a Common
Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit being developed under a
$260 million development contract with the US Army. Ultimately, it
is expected to lead to initial production of approximately 1,000
Over on the civil side, Sikorsky's X2 Technology Demonstrator is
on the verge of its first flight as well. The prototype represents
a new generation of rotorcraft that combines an integrated suite of
technologies intended to advance the state-of-the-art,
counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter. It is designed to
demonstrate a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots, while
retaining such desirable helicopter attributes as excellent low
speed handling, efficient hovering and autorotation safety, with
seamless and simple transition to high speed.
The S-76D helicopter, the latest version of the S-76 helicopter,
which includes a new composite rotor blade, Pratt & Whitney
210S engines, Quiet Design Tail Rotor, Active Vibration Control,
Rotor Ice Protection System, and Thales advanced avionics. First
flight is expected by year-end, and Sikorsky says it already has
about 100 position agreements on the aircraft. And the
Sikorsky-Schweizer S-434 helicopter, with a four-bladed rotor
system based on the existing S-333 helicopter, is slated for its
first flight in the fourth quarter.