Image via WikipediaOn Sept. 20, Sikorsky Aerospace Services announced that the U.S. State Department has ordered 11 additional upgraded S-61™ utility helicopters for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) is the aftermarket division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
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. Under the IDIQ agreement, the first four aircraft purchased in February are currently in completion and are scheduled for deployment in Afghanistan this fall.
“Increasing the U.S. State Department’s current fleet to 15 S-61 aircraft marks a significant milestone for the Sikorsky S-61 program,” 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 helicopter 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.
An open IDIQ purchase agreement serves as the contracting vehicle for any U.S. Government agency to purchase upgraded S-61 aircraft. The first delivery of the 11 upgraded S-61 helicopters for Iraq and Afghanistan is scheduled to occur in mid-2011.
Read the announcement here.
State Dept’s New Helo Fleet: Up to 110 S-61 Sikorskys for Worldwide Operation | February 23, 2010