U.S. TRANSCOM Orders More Rotary Wing Support for Afghanistan from AAR

by: Matthew Potter
October 6, 2010

Category: AAR Corporation, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, logistics, Military Aviation, Services, Sikorsky, UTC | RSS 2.0

Due to the nature of the terrain and threat in Afghanistan the U.S. and its allies rely heavily on rotary wing aviation to move men and supplies. Because there is only so much military lift available the U.S. has contracted for a variety of support helicopters from different suppliers. These include not only American and European companies but also Russian ones who provide Mi-17 and Mi-26 transport helicopters.

Now the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has issued a series of further task orders to purchase this support. Once company that received an order was AAR (AIR). Their task order is worth about $450 million and will provide six helicopters for up to five years. AAR already provides several rotary and fixed wing aircraft to carry out this mission and they will use Sikorsky, a United Technologies (UTC) company, to provide these new ones.

AAR will use two S-92 and four S-61 aircraft to meet the requirements of the contract. They will be added to the AAR fleet of twenty-two other aircraft already in the country.

The contract requirements is also driven by the amount of non-military cargo and personnel that must be moved around the country. Significant numbers of personnel from the State Department, contractors and European allies provide support to the mission there and their needs cannot always be met with U.S. Army or Marine transport. The use of contract lift like this is one available solution. It also takes pressure off of the U.S. aircraft so that they may be prioritized for military missions.

Photo from BriYYZ’s Flickr photostream

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