Sikorsky Wins Big Black Hawk Deal in Turkey

AIN Defense Perspective » May 2, 2011
The T-70 Sikorsky will produce for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program is ...
The T-70 Sikorsky will produce for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program is similar to the S-70i version of the Black Hawk, above, that Sikorsky planned to offer to international markets.
May 2, 2011, 5:20 AM

Sikorsky has won the $3.5 billion Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP), with a version of the Black Hawk designated T-70. Detailed negotiations for assembly of an initial 109 T-70s by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will now begin. TAI will produce some parts for the T-70s, while local company Alp Aviation, which is 50-percent owned by Sikorsky, will produce dynamic components.

The T-70s will be operated by eight different Turkish military and government organizations, whose total requirement is expected to be more than 300. But total production of the T-70 could reach 600, since Sikorsky has agreed to offer the Turkish-produced helicopter to international customers.

The T-70 is similar to the S-70i version that Sikorsky has planned to offer internationally from its wholly-owned production facility in Poland. Sikorsky noted that the TUHP would expand existing collaboration on aerostructures and dynamic components. The Turkish Army, Gendarmes and Police have operated S-70A Black Hawks since the 1990s.

The losing contender was the AgustaWestland A149, which was launched in 2006 and offered to Turkey in a co-development deal as the TUHP-149 the following year. Turkey has bought the A129 Mangusta attack helicopter, which gave the Anglo-Italian company some hope of securing the TUHP deal. But commenting on the adverse TUHP decision, AgustaWestland said that Turkey “had lost a unique opportunity to become a major player in the helicopter industry through the co-development of a new-generation helicopter.”

AgustaWestland said that it would continue development of the A149, since there are 8,000 aging helicopters in the same class that would need to be replaced over the next 35 years. The company has flown two prototypes of the A149 since the model’s November 2009 maiden flight, but no orders have yet been announced.

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