By Graham Warwick in Washington DC

Sikorsky is to complete derivatives of its S-70/H-60 Hawk-series military helicopters at its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary in Elmira, New York. Setting up the Hawk Works @ Schweizer Aircraft for rapid prototyping and derivatives completion is part of moves by the company to offload work from its main Stratford, Connecticut plant, where production of helicopters for the US military is ramping up.

Sikorsky S-70H-60
© Sikorsky 

The new plant will complete S-70/H-60s for foreign militaries

To be operational by the first quarter of next year, the 9,300m² (100,000ft²) centre adjacent to Schweizer’s Elmira factory will complete Stratford-assembled Black Hawk and Naval Hawk helicopters requiring customised configurations, primarily for foreign military customers. The centre will also add capacity for other special mission aircraft manufactured by Schweizer, such as fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and airframes for the Northrop Grumman RQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle.

With Sikorsky ramping up to produce more than 1,200 modernised UH-60Ms for the US Army, plus MH-60s for the US Navy, Stratford is focusing on final assembly. Airframe subassemblies for the UH-60 have been outsourced, and fabrication and completion of commercial helicopters moved out. Sikorsky has also selected CDI-Aerospace to operate an engineering design centre in Bozeman, Montana, supporting aftermarket, commercial and international government business.

Bell Helicopter has selected Manassas, Virginia-based Aurora Flight Sciences to provide the airframe for the TR916 Eagle Eye tiltrotor UAV for the US Coast Guard Deepwater programme.

Source: Flight International