Sikorsky adds key link to international supply chain

Sikorsky reported significant progress in its efforts to internationalize manufacture of two helicopter platforms that are heavily dependent on composites.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (Stratford, Conn., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.) reported significant progress in its efforts to internationalize manufacture of two helicopter platforms that are heavily dependent on composites for lightweighting, part consolidation and enhanced performance.  Sikorsky reported completion of an agreement on June 12 with The Tata Group (Mumbai, India), under which the Group’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) will manufacture Sikorsky S-92 helicopter cabins in India. The first cabin is scheduled for delivery in late 2010 from a new greenfield facility that TASL will construct at Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh. That announcement was followed by another on June 15, indicating that that the major components of the first S-70i Black Hawk helicopter were joined at PZL Mielec (Mielec, Poland). A Sikorsky company, PZL Mielec is the final assembly center for the S-70i, and reportedly has more than 60 years of aircraft design, test, system integration and manufacturing experience. The event marked the first time this model has been assembled outside the U.S. and, according to Sikorsky, was a major step forward in the company’s efforts to produce the aircraft offshore.

The first cabin produced at PZL Mielec was fitted to a Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI, Ankara, Turkey) tail cone and a cockpit section produced by Kaman Aerospace (Jacksonville, Fla.). First announced in 2006 at the Farnborough International Air Show, the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter will be produced, according to Sikorsky, by a more cost-effective global supply chain and delivered from locations outside the U.S. to reduce shipping distance, time and cost.

“The joining of Aircraft Number 1 in Poland is a defining moment for the S-70i helicopter program,” said Sikorsky president Jeffrey Pino. “This platform will accommodate customer demand with an affordable, capable and adaptable aircraft that will now extend its capabilities to customers around the world, bringing robust performance and the latest in rotorcraft technology.”