Sikorsky makes first S-70i sale to Saudi Arabia

Sikorsky announced at the Farnborough International Air Show that Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) has become the launch customer for Sikorsky’s new S-70i International Black Hawk helicopter.

The MOI has signed a contract for three aircraft and taken options for 12 additional S-70i helicopters according to a company statement. The delivery of the first S-70i is scheduled for early 2011, with the aircraft performing transport, border protection and other missions for the MOI.

Also, the MOI signed a further contract for twelve S-76D medium twin helicopters and has taken options for eight additional aircraft. Delivery of those aircraft is scheduled for early 2012.

The first S-70i Black Hawk, which was produced at PZL Mielec in Poland, first flew last July 1 at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The company is confident that it will become popular with customers who want a Black Hawk type capability but at a reduced cost and without going through the US foreign military sales process. With PZL Mielec acting as the dub for international sales of the Black Hawk, the company is also eyeing the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme TUHP, although Sikorsky plans to establish a further Black Hawk franchise in that country should it win the competition.

The S-70i features a digital cockpit with a dual digital automatic flight control system and coupled flight director as well as an active vibration control system and dual GPS/INS system with digital map.

shephard.co.uk

aviationtoday.com

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