Sikorsky is ready to tackle the challenge laid down by the AgustaWestland/Lockheed Martin US101 helicopter teaming and is counting on the qualities and ‘stand-out' safety features of the S-92 to bring in the orders, the company says.

The S-92 and its H-92 military variant are competing for a number of important US contracts, including the USAF combat search and rescue requirement which is believed to call for 130 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2008.



"We have the first helicopter anywhere to be fully certificated to the FAA/JAA Part 29 requirements and we are very confident that the S-92 will become the aircraft of choice," says Jeff Pino, senior vice-president, business development. "We will be in service in 2004.

"We are talking all the time with our potential customers, who have flown the aircraft and know what it has to offer."

The S-92 is also a competitor in the USMC's future executive transport, which includes the all-Sikorsky presidential fleet of S-61s and VH-60s and has targeted an emerging requirement in Belgium for troop transport, which has an in-service date of 2007.

The protracted Canadian maritime helicopter competition is also on the table, with a tender expected early next year and deliveries in early 2006.

"We know the business is out there," says Pino. "It's up to us to convert the orders."

Sikorsky is also planning future upgrades to the S-92, using technologies developed for the Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, which will keep the aircraft at the forefront of technology.

Meanwhile, the US Government has approved funding of $914 million for the Comanche programme, covering the next fiscal year.

A restructured programme with a $6.6 billion development phase has been submitted for approval by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB).

Source: Flight Daily News