Sikorsky completes S-92 helicopter for Irish Coast Guard search and rescue operations


COATESVILLE, Pa., 3 Jan. 2012. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), has completed production of an S-92 helicopter for CHC Helicopter on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard. The helicopter, equipped for dedicated search and rescue (SAR) operations, will help provide coverage for deep Atlantic Ocean missions, service Ireland's offshore islands, and provide rescue cover on the country's west coast. The new aircraft will replace the Coast Guard’s current Sikorsky S-61helicopter.


A dedicated search and rescue platform, the S-92 aircraft is equipped with advanced systems and hardware. Among them are: an automated flight control system that enables the pilot to fly pre-programmed search patterns and perform delicate hover maneuvers; a wireless intercom allowing a rescue swimmer to communicate with the crew; radio transceivers to communicate with ships, police, and other emergency rescue services; a weather radar; a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor; and a digital video system to record rescues. The aircraft also comes with a dual rescue hoist, single or dual 220-gallon internal auxiliary fuel tanks, three litters, and a Spectrolab rescue searchlight.


Sikorsky's S-92 commercial helicopter assembly facility is located in Coatesville, Pa.


The new helicopter will service some of the roughest and treacherous ocean waters in the world, and it represents a stepped improvement in Ireland's ability to care for and service its seagoing, coastal, and island communities, says a spokesperson.


The S-92 helicopter is the first to be purchased by CHC for SAR operations in Ireland. CHC will use four additional S-92 SAR aircraft, which will become operational out of Sligo, Waterford, and Dublin airports over time. CHC provides search and rescue helicopter service for the Irish Coast Guard using six S-61 SAR helicopters based at Dublin, Shannon, Waterford, and Sligo.


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