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Air Force Cost Goals Restrict Competition for New Rescue Helicopter

The U.S. Air Force is once again trying to attempt to buy a new aircraft to replace their MH-60 rescue helicopter fleet from the Eighties. The original CSAR-X program faltered twice earlier this century due to protests. Boeing (BA) had one the last contest with a version of the CH-47 but after protests from the losing bidders it was decided to start over.

The current Combat Rescue Helicopter program had put out a RFP for new proposals due in January. The goal is to buy just over 100 aircraft at a cost of $6.4 billion.

Unfortunately it was announced this past week that the only company interested in bidding on the contract is Sikosrky, part of United Technologies (UTX), teamed with Lockheed Martin (LMT). Sikorsky made the current HH-60 fleet. Other potential bidders including Augusta Westland, Eurocopter, Bell and Boeing believe that the cost goals will be too hard to meet for their products. Some have basically said the contract requirements were written in such as way so only a version of the UH-60 Black Hawk could meet them.

The Pentagon is obviously trying to reduce cost but at also at the same time promoting competition. Sometimes, as here, the two things don’t always work together as to attract bidders there must be some profit in it for them.

The Air Force has struggled with large acquisitions for a few years now. The new aerial tanker, KC-X, took 3 tries before Boeing won. The CSAR-X has already been discussed. They are currently redoing the Light Air Support aircraft contest after Embraer and Sierra Nevada’s win of the original contract was overturned on protest.

Whether they want to continue the current contest with limited bidders or try to re-do the requirements to attract more will be the next decision. They could just wait and see if more then one bid in January as originally intended.

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CPI Aerostructures Announces $17.7 Million Contract Award from Sikorsky Aircraft

EDGEWOOD, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (“CPI Aero®”) (NYSE Amex: CVU) announced today that it has entered into a long term contract for a period of five years covering $17.7 million in structural assemblies and kits to be supplied to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. for its S-92® civil helicopter program. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). The contract includes seventeen different deliverable items including door assemblies, cover assemblies, and various

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LaBarge Receives $1.3 Million Contract from Kaman for S-70i BLACK HAWK Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge's $1.3 million contract from Kaman is to support the S-70i, first BLACK HAWK designed specifically for international customers.

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LaBarge Receives $1.6 Million Contract from Kaman for SEAHAWK Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge wins contract from Kaman for SEAHAWK helicopters worth $1.6 million.

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LaBarge Awarded $5 Million Contract from Sikorsky for Black Hawk Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge lands $5 million Sikorsky contract, which expands LaBarge's manufacturing role on the BLACK HAWK program.

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Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin Announce Teaming Agreement to Compete for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Program — Press Release

Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin Announce Teaming Agreement to Compete for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Program

WASHINGTON, April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) , and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) today announced the signing of a teaming agreement to compete jointly for the U.S. Navy’s revived VXX Presidential Helicopter program.

The agreement formally positions global helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky as the prime contractor offering its H-92(TM) medium-lift helicopter for the presidential transport mission with Lockheed Martin, a leading rotary wing systems integrator, as the major subsystems supplier.

Additionally, the two companies jointly submitted a response today to the U.S. Navy’s VXX request for information. The document details how a Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin team would design and manufacture the H-92 helicopter with integrated systems for the “Marine One” mission.

“We’re thrilled to team with Lockheed Martin to provide taxpayers and the U.S. government with a common sense solution for the next presidential aircraft both in terms of economy and technology,” said Scott Starrett, president of Sikorsky Military Systems. “For nearly four decades, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have teamed successfully to produce Naval Hawk(TM) helicopters, so we have a proven and formidable track record as a team.”

“Our VXX teaming agreement builds on an existing and highly successful 38-year relationship between Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky,” said Dan Spoor, Aviation Systems vice president at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors in Owego, N.Y. “Formally combining Sikorsky’s success building and supporting the Marine One fleet with our understanding of the systems integration requirements will allow our team to offer a low-risk transport solution to the Office of the President.”

Both companies have unique experience supporting presidential helicopters. Sikorsky designed-and-built VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft — designated “Marine One” when the president is on board — have provided safe, reliable transport for the Office of the President since the 1960s. In 2005, Lockheed Martin won the contract to build the replacement fleet. The contract was terminated in 2009 at the convenience of the government after the program delivered nine test and pilot production aircraft.

In addition to the VXX teaming agreement, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin also have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore business opportunities involving other Sikorsky programs.

The companies have extensive experience working together during four decades developing, delivering and supporting 400 operational SH-60B and MH-60R/S maritime helicopters to the U.S. Navy.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

For additional information, visit our web site:
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/
http://www.sikorsky.com/

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Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin Announce Teaming Agreement to Compete for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Program

Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin Announce Teaming Agreement to Compete for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Program
April 19, 2010 10:34 AM

WASHINGTON, -- Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) today announced the signing of a teaming agreement to compete jointly for the U.S. Navy's revived VXX Presidential Helicopter program.

The agreement formally positions global helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky as the prime contractor offering its H-92" medium-lift helicopter for the presidential transport mission with Lockheed Martin, a leading rotary wing systems integrator, as the major subsystems supplier.

Additionally, the two companies jointly submitted a response today to the U.S. Navy's VXX request for information. The document details how a Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin team would design and manufacture the H-92 helicopter with integrated systems for the "Marine One" mission.

"We're thrilled to team with Lockheed Martin to provide taxpayers and the U.S. government with a common sense solution for the next presidential aircraft both in terms of economy and technology," said Scott Starrett, president of Sikorsky Military Systems. "For nearly four decades, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have teamed successfully to produce Naval Hawk" helicopters, so we have a proven and formidable track record as a team."

"Our VXX teaming agreement builds on an existing and highly successful 38-year relationship between Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky," said Dan Spoor, Aviation Systems vice president at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors in Owego, N.Y. "Formally combining Sikorsky's success building and supporting the Marine One fleet with our understanding of the systems integration requirements will allow our team to offer a low-risk transport solution to the Office of the President."

Both companies have unique experience supporting presidential helicopters. Sikorsky designed-and-built VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft (designated "Marine One" when the president is on board) have provided safe, reliable transport for the Office of the President since the 1960s. In 2005, Lockheed Martin won the contract to build the replacement fleet. The contract was terminated in 2009 at the convenience of the government after the program delivered nine test and pilot production aircraft.

In addition to the VXX teaming agreement, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin also have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore business opportunities involving other Sikorsky programs.

The companies have extensive experience working together during four decades developing, delivering and supporting 400 operational SH-60B and MH-60R/S maritime helicopters to the U.S. Navy.

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CH-53K Helicopter Program Sustains Progress with Successful Integration Design Review — Press Release

January 7, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Editorial 

CH-53K Helicopter Program Sustains Progress with Successful Integration Design Review

STRATFORD, Conn., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced that an Integration Design Review (IDR) of the CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter program has charted a course for a successful Critical Design Review in 2010. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) .

Sikorsky’s CH-53K program team hosted a two-day meeting in November to bring together the program’s key collaborators for an in-depth discussion on system design compliance and verification, design integration and cross-discipline system design attributes. Participating in the meeting were members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, NAVAIR Technical Review Board, and the NAVAIR/Sikorsky CH-53K team.

Sikorsky Aircraft received a $3 billion System Development and Demonstration contract on April 5, 2006 to develop a replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E heavy lift helicopter. The new aircraft program is planned to include production of more than 200 new aircraft.

“This IDR meeting reinforced the joint efforts that are keeping the CH-53K helicopter on track to meet its objectives, which include design compliance and verification planning,” said Mark Cherry, Sikorsky Vice President, Marine Corps Systems. “We have identified our ‘next steps’ as the CH-53K helicopter program moves with strength toward production.”

Mike Torok, Vice-President and Marine Corps Systems Chief Engineer, added: “These reviews are key steps to ensure the transition from design to build and test of this aircraft proceeds at minimum risk. The CH-53K helicopter is no longer just on paper – we’ve already started building the aircraft that will fill a critical need for current and future warfighters.”

Its predecessor, the three-engine Sikorsky CH-53E SUPER STALLION(TM) helicopter, is the largest, most powerful marinized helicopter in the world. It is deployed from Marine Corps amphibious assault ships to transport personnel and equipment and to carry external (sling) cargo loads.

The CH-53K helicopter will maintain virtually the same footprint as the CH-53E aircraft, but will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “hot high” ambient conditions. The CH-53K helicopter’s maximum gross weight (MGW) with internal loads is 74,000 pounds compared to 69,750 pounds for the CH-53E aircraft. The CH-53K’s MGW with external loads is 88,000 pounds as compared to 73,500 for the CH-53E helicopter.

Features of the CH-53K helicopter include: a joint interoperable glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and reduced operation and support costs.

The CH-53K helicopter team has successfully completed several risk reduction initiatives on two critical technologies, the split torque main gear box and the advanced main rotor blade, and is preparing for Technology Readiness Assessment in early 2010. The program conducted a successful Preliminary Design Review in September 2008, and is tracking toward a Critical Design Review in 2010 with an Initial Operational Capability milestone scheduled in early 2016.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning potential production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans or availability of funding or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Source: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

CONTACT: Paul Jackson, +1-203-386-7143, [email protected], or
Marianne Heffernan, +1-203-386-4373, [email protected], both of Sikorsky
Aircraft Corp.

Web Site: http://www.sikorsky.com/

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LaBarge Awarded $18.9 Million Contract from Sikorsky for BLACK HAWK Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge, Inc. (NYSE Amex: LB) has been awarded a multi-year contract valued at approximately $18.9 million from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to produce electronic assemblies for various models of UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopters through 2014. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). LaBarge has manufactured cables and electronic assemblies for the BLACK HAWK program since 2005. The new contract expands LaBarge’s manufacturing role to include addi

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Lockheed Plans Further Job Cuts Due To VH-71 Ending

Lockheed Martin had already cut over one hundred jobs at their Upstate New York facility in Owego. This was mainly due to the decision by Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates to end the VH-71 New Presidential Transport helicopter program. Even though the aircraft was made in Italy Lockheed did all the modifications and integration in Owego.

Despite a great deal of argument and pressure to keep the program going in some form or another the contract was recently terminated. Lockheed is now saying that another seven hundred and fifty people may lose their jobs. Right now they are looking for people to voluntarily leave or retire with a promise of severance. The plan is to begin the layoffs in July based on how many people agree to leave voluntarily.

One of the arguments against ending this and other production programs is that they will just add to the joblessness during the current recession. Of course the defense budget is not really a jobs program and that is fairly poor reasoning to continue spending billions of dollars on a system that does not meet requirements. It is still possible that Congress will pass some form of spending that will keep pieces of the program alive in the 2010 defense budget but that will not be finished until the Fall.

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CAGW Advises Congress Not to Ground Presidential Chopper — Press Release

CAGW Advises Congress Not to Ground Presidential Chopper

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), the nation’s premier taxpayer watchdog organization, today expressed support for the continuation of the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program. President Obama included the program on the list of program terminations and reductions to the fiscal year (FY) 2010 budget, which he released on May 7, 2009 in a bid to whittle $17 billion out of his overall $3.6 trillion budget. The President had stated in February, 2009 that the helicopter he currently uses “seems perfectly adequate” and added, “I think it is an example of the procurement process gone amok. And we’re going to have to fix it.”

But even in his recommendation to terminate the program, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that a new fleet of presidential helicopters is necessary due to the advanced age and technological limitations of the current fleet. In a post-9/11 world, there is broad consensus that the President should not be flying Vietnam-era technology.

“CAGW applauds the President’s desire to cut wasteful spending, but taxpayers are between a rock and a hard place on the helicopter issue,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “One of the most common axioms of aviation is that every takeoff is optional, but every landing is mandatory. The same could be said now about the $13 billion program to fund the new fleet of presidential helicopters.”

It has become increasingly clear that it won’t be as cost effective as it may have appeared to terminate the VH-71 program. More than $3 billion has already been invested in the program to cover the R&D and production costs of the first phase. Navy officials estimate that program termination and liability costs will be $555 million. Factoring in costs already incurred and shut-down fees, terminating the program now would leave taxpayers with nothing to show for nearly $4 billion – even though nine new aircraft have been produced that meet performance requirements. “This program is also another example of the rampant lack of realistic budgeting and absence of fiscal discipline in the Pentagon’s procurement process,” said Schatz.

More alarming, according to a recent memo prepared by House Armed Services Committee staff, the Navy has told Congress it will require billions of dollars to extend the life of the current fleet of presidential helicopters, which are already 35 years old, in order to keep them in operation for another decade until a new program can be devised. “In light of these facts,” said Schatz, “starting a do-over program from scratch would be even more costly than completing the current program – leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill twice rather than maximizing the current investment. Given the urgent security needs of the President and the massive amount of money that would be wasted should the Pentagon and the White House terminate the program at this late stage, the prudent course would be to move forward, take possession of the helicopters we have paid for, and find a responsible solution both for the taxpayer and the Office of the President.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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VH-71 Suffers Cost Breach and Connecticut is Lobbying

The Connecticut Post reports that the VH-71 new Presidential helicopter program suffered a “Nunn-McCurdy” cost breach. There are two levels of this breach and the higher one, a 25% increase, requires the Secretary of Defense to certify the program is still required for the U.S. national defense. The fine Senators and Congressmen from Connecticut have pricked up their ears at this development and want to meet with DoD to discuss canceling the program and giving it to Sikorsky. The contract with Lockheed Martin has seen considerable cost growth due to requirements creep since the contract was awarded. This has required wholesale changes to the EH-101 platform selected. Hence the great increase in cost and schedule for the program. Of course the DoD will have to weigh the savings if another vendor proposes something cheaper with the time required to restart the program. With a new administration it is conceivable that the contract could be canceled and started over, like ARH, but it probably won’t happen.

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LaBarge Awarded $1.8 Million Contract from Sikorsky for Black Hawk Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge, Inc. (NYSE Amex: LB) has been awarded a $1.8 million contract from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to continue to produce electronic assemblies for various models of UH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopters. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). LaBarge has supported the BLACK HAWK helicopter program since 2005. The LaBarge-built electronic assemblies will support the inlet barrier filtration system, which extends the life of the BLACK HAWK engine. Pr

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LaBarge Awarded $2.4 Million Contract from Sikorsky for BLACK HAWK Helicopter Program

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaBarge, Inc. (NYSE Amex: LB) has been awarded a $2.4 million contract from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to continue producing wiring harnesses for the UH-60L BLACK HAWK helicopter. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). LaBarge has manufactured wiring harnesses and electronic assemblies for the BLACK HAWK helicopter program since 2005. Earlier this month, the Company announced a separate contract valued at $1.8 million to provide Sikorsky with e

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Ducommun Announces $12 Million Contract with TIGHITCO to Provide Exhaust Ducts for the Sikorsky Black Hawk Helicopter

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE:DCO) today announced that its Ducommun AeroStructures (DAS) subsidiary has won a contract to furnish TIGHITCO, Inc. with 360 Upturned Exhaust System (UES) sub-assemblies and components for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s H-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter program. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). The UES Program is a result of four years of cooperative development between the U.S. Army, Sikorsky, TIGHITCO and Ducommun

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