Sikorsky Aircraft to Expand Huntsville Operations

The new 30,000-square-foot facility will house Sikorsky employees dedicated to support U.S. Army BLACK HAWK helicopters and other military aviation programs


HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation today formally dedicated a new technical integration center in Cummings Research Park. The new 30,000-square-foot facility will house Sikorsky employees dedicated to support U.S. Army BLACK HAWK helicopters and other military aviation programs. Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Stratford, Conn., is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

The Sikorsky Huntsville operation is expected to grow from 65 employees today to more than 160 employees over the next year. Employment opportunities will include the areas of engineering, worldwide customer service (logistics), and program management. New positions are to be filled predominantly by new hires from the local area.

"The Huntsville Technical Integration Center provides a strong opportunity for Sikorsky Aircraft to align with the mission of 'Team Redstone' in nearby Redstone Arsenal, providing basic and advanced weapons system research and development and ultimately placing the right aviation systems with our troops," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino.

"As the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Plan is funded and put into effect, Redstone Arsenal will become even more of a military R&D focal point as agencies such as the Army Materiel Command, the Space and Missile Defense Command, the Aviation Technical Test Center, and the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command all become concentrated there. Sikorsky looks forward to this collaboration between the Huntsville Technical Integration Center and the Redstone Arsenal."

Mark Miller, Sikorsky vice president for research and engineering, said the work to be done in Huntsville will follow the joint mission by Sikorsky and Redstone Arsenal to provide the best, most technically advanced rotorcraft to Army aviators.

"In the long term, the benefits and applications from this collective effort can be extensive from both the technology development and customer support standpoints," Miller said. "What we achieve and learn here can help improve all our military aircraft and even shape future platforms."

"This is great news for Huntsville," said Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama. "United Technologies' further expansion into Alabama will create significant job growth for the region and will continue Sikorsky's ardent support of the Army's BLACK HAWK helicopter program. I am proud that Sikorsky once again recognizes Alabama's ability to provide a dedicated and educated workforce and I look forward to continuing this already strong partnership."

Currently, BLACK HAWK derivatives serve in 26 governments around the world in a diverse range of missions such as combat assault, peacekeeping, border patrol, drug interdiction, disaster relief and MEDEVAC. More than 2,800 S-70 and H-60 variants have accumulated more than 5 million flight hours for the U.S. military and Sikorsky's international customers.

The expanded Sikorsky Huntsville office will support the legacy BLACK HAWK fleet as well as the latest version of the aircraft, the UH-60M advanced utility helicopter. The UH-60M is designed to replace the older UH-60A BLACKHAWK and is the centerpiece of the Army's long-term effort to modernize its medium-lift helicopter fleet.

Sikorsky is currently under a multi-year contract to manufacture and deliver UH-60L utility, HH-60L Medevac helicopters, as well as the new UH-60M BLACK HAWK in Low Rate Initial Production. Sikorsky and the Army are planning for approval of full-rate production for more than 1,200 UH-60M aircraft this year. Exact procurement numbers year-to-year and across the life of the program will be determined by budget authorizations and specific contract awards.

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