July 19, 2012, Shelton, Conn. - Sikorsky Aircraft Australia Limited announced today the signing of a four-year agreement with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for ongoing logistics and engineering support for the Commonwealth of Australia’s fleet of BLACK HAWK (S-70A) and SEAHAWK (S-70B) helicopters.
By Carey Fredericks
Valued at more than $120 million, with six annual renewable options, the contract is a follow-on agreement to the current standing offer, which is expiring after an eight-year term.
“Brisbane is emerging as the hub for helicopter and aviation maintenance in Australia, and we remain committed to servicing the rotary support needs of our armed forces,” said George Cheetham, Managing Director of Sikorsky Helitech. “For the last twenty-five years, Sikorsky’s BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK helicopters have played a crucial role as part of the ADF. Our ability to offer in-country OEM expertise will further improve the operational readiness of the fleet and enhance our government’s ability to successfully execute a variety of key missions.”
The performance-based nature of the contract is designed to help increase the fleet’s overall annual flying rate while maintaining and controlling costs. Sikorsky Helitech will provide repair and overhaul management services, as well as customer service support, including management of maintenance and logistics elements such as freight, acquisition of spares, and replacement of repairable components. Additionally, the contract provides for engineering, technical, and field service support, as well as publication updates.
“During the 2011 flood disasters in Australia, our BLACK HAWK aircraft were critical in search and rescue missions and relief provisions,” said Australia’s Defence Minister Stephen Smith. “Every flight hour requires many more ground hours of repair and maintenance. This contract will ensure local jobs and investment in Brisbane and Queensland." Mr. Smith’s sentiments align with SAS’s objective to provide support services directly to where Sikorsky customers operate.