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HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 23 July 2012. U.S. Army and Navy officials signed an $8.5 billion contract with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), to buy a baseline quantity of 653 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters through December 2017. The base contract includes UH-60M utility and HH-60M Medevac helicopters for the U.S. Army, and MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters for the U.S. Navy.
The services are ordering aircraft in the base agreement, with a full baseline value of $8.5 billion, to be sold via the U.S. Government's Foreign Military Sales program. These aircraft include Foreign Military Sale (FMS) UH-60M aircraft for several allied countries and MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy.
Under the five-year agreement, the Army and Navy can order up to 263 additional aircraft; if the optional purchases are exercised, the contract value could reach $11.7 billion. Actual production quantities will be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities.
"By buying a five-year quantity of four helicopter models in a single joint-service purchase, the two services have enabled Sikorsky and our suppliers to aggressively control our long- term costs," says John Palumbo, Sikorsky's vice president for Black Hawk aircraft production. "Furthermore, by ordering a similar number of aircraft year-over-year, the Army and Navy have ensured that we can stabilize our supply base over the same period of time."
Colonel Thomas Todd, the Utility Helicopters Project Manager, says: "This contract will provide our Army, sister services and Allies with state-of-the-art modernized helicopters. Moreover, this effort will stabilize our manufacturing base during this period of fiscally challenging times."
Black Hawk and Seahawk aircraft deliveries under the new contract will begin this month. Sikorsky produces the two H-60M Black Hawk and two MH-60 Seahawk aircraft models on four separate production lines at its final assembly facility in Stratford, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla.