Sikorsky Delivers 1st 2 S-92 in Afghanistan

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has delivered two S-92 helicopters to airlift services provider AAR CORP. for operations in Afghanistan. AAR will perform passenger and cargo lift missions on behalf of the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), a government agency that provides transportation for the Department of Defense.

Both aircraft are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to simultaneously carry both passengers and cargo in the same cabin space.

“Deployment to Afghanistan is a tremendous opportunity for AAR and the U.S. Government to see what the multi-mission S-92 aircraft is capable of in some very challenging flight conditions at high altitude,” said Ed Beyer, vice president for Sikorsky Global Helicopters.

The FAA certified an easily configurable interior with variable seating while carrying up to three 4 ft. sq.-sized cargo pallets secured to rings in the seat tracks and cabin walls to assure crashworthiness. For each pallet, Sikorsky developed a special fire containment cover to contain and suffocate flames, and added smoke detectors. To separate the passengers from cargo, Sikorsky designed a fabric partition, and added a fire extinguisher and Protective Breathing Equipment for passengers and crew.

AAR purchased the two S-92 aircraft following an October 2010 USTRANSCOM contract award valued at $450 million to provide up to five years of airlift service in Afghanistan. Both aircraft are expected to begin operations in Afghanistan during February 2011. AAR already operates 15 Sikorsky S-61N aircraft in various mission roles, including Afghanistan.

“We evaluated a number of alternatives before concluding that the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter was the best choice to meet the arduous demands of supporting tactical lift missions in remote and extremely harsh environments,” said Jeff Schloesser, president of AAR’s Airlift Group.

ASD News

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