Lockheed Martin to Supply Navy Helicopter Cockpits

by: Matthew Potter
April 6, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Services, Sikorsky, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, UTC | RSS 2.0

The U.S Navy’s standard helicopter is versions of the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk made by Sikorsky, part of United Technologies (UTX). They operate the MH-60R and MH-60S for different missions including anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, cargo and passenger transfer as well as attack. While the MH-60 and SH-60 are similar to the UH-60 the Navy installs its own unique equipment and electronics.

This includes a digital cockpit made by Lockheed Martin (LMT) for both models of helicopter. As such this week the Navy signed a contract with Lockheed to provide over 200 cockpits and other mission equipment for their MH-60 aircraft. The total value of the contract for 224 sets is just over $1 billion.

Military aircraft are expensive and this contract illustrates one of the reasons why. The cost of the avionics, radios and other systems is quite substantial. Add this to the cost of the airframe, engines, defensive systems and weapons the total become quite high.

This contract is a multi-year one which allows the Navy to place orders across 5 years rather then the normal one year contract. The Black Hawk one is as well. This is normally done with mature systems in full rate production and allows better use of economies of scale and a static supplier base.

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