Monday, 14 March 2022

Blackhawk helicopters to become Firehawks.........Changing the role of the S70.....


Sikorsky and United Rotorcraft have agreed on a deal that formalizes how both companies will collaborate to meet growing global interest in the S-70 FIREHAWK helicopter. 

An S-70 BLACK HAWK aircraft becomes a FIREHAWK helicopter when United Rotorcraft adds a 1,000-gallon (3,785-liter) water tank system, a raised landing gear, which is needed to accommodate the tank, plus associated integrated avionics. This is a process that typically takes six months and in months to come the firm will also offer composite water tanks in addition to the current aluminium ones. 

The agreement will enable the team to identify demand, and more quickly build and configure new production FIREHAWK helicopters for government agencies worldwide that require a highly effective solution to attack increasingly deadly wildland fires.  


“This agreement addresses a critical need to deliver the proven FIREHAWK helicopter into customer's hands in months not years,” said Jason Lambert, vice president, Sikorsky Global Commercial & Military Systems. “United Rotorcraft and Air Methods have taken a leadership position to advance the availability of this proven aircraft in anticipation of future orders from U.S. and international markets. This proactive approach is one that we readily support to meet future demand. Doing so also honors our founder Igor Sikorsky, whose vision that the helicopter be a unique instrument for saving human lives continues to be fulfilled.”

The agreement will allow United Rotorcraft to contract for bulk orders of S-70 Black Hawk® aircraft, much as it did in August 2021 with an initial five-aircraft order from Sikorsky. Four of the five aircraft will arrive at United Rotorcraft’s Englewood, Colorado completions facility this year from the S-70 production line at PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company in Poland. The first aircraft of the bulk order will be modified to the FIREHAWK configuration for delivery in 2023 to the State of Colorado.



“The success of the Firehawk helicopter in California to attack and suppress wildfires in their initial stage has spurred fire agencies globally to evaluate this unique asset, both as a firefighting tool and a multi-mission aircraft for year-round rescue and medical assistance,” said Larry Alexandre, United Rotorcraft president. “Federal, state and local legislatures facing wildfire threats are more likely to authorize an aircraft purchase if the aircraft is readily available. With Sikorsky’s assistance as aircraft manufacturer, United Rotorcraft and Air Methods are bringing the world’s most efficient medium-lift firefighting helicopter to the market at a speed not previously seen.”

For more information, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/firehawk.







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