http://sikorsky.com/About+Sikorsky/News/Press+Details?pressvcmid=4d023e2428a63410VgnVCM1000004f62529fRCRDSikorsky Press Releases
Modernized S-61T™ Helicopter Launches First Flight
U.S. Department of State Already Under Contract for 13 Aircraft
January 06, 2014
SHELTON, Connecticut - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced the successful maiden test flight of the modernized S-61T™ helicopter with an integrated glass cockpit and enhanced performance capabilities. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
In 2010, Sikorsky began a program to upgrade S-61™ aircraft and return them to productive service. An industry workhorse, the S-61 helicopter has performed missions reliably for U.S. and foreign allied militaries during the past several decades. The modernized S-61T helicopter represents the latest version, with a full structural refurbishment, overhaul of all major dynamic components, and installation of key upgrades including new composite main rotor blades (CMRB), a survivability suite and state-of-the-art glass cockpit, as well as all new electrical wiring throughout the aircraft. The initial test flight was completed in late 2013.
Sikorsky is under contract with the U.S. Department of State (DoS) for refurbished S-61 aircraft and already has delivered 16 helicopters. The latest order is for 13 S-61T models, with the first delivery scheduled in the first quarter of 2014. The five-year IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) agreement with DoS allows for the purchase of up to 110 modernized S-61 aircraft. The IDIQ purchase agreement serves as the contracting vehicle for any U.S. government agency to purchase the new helicopter.
“The first flight of the S-61T represents a major milestone in the program,” said Steven Rogers, Director S-61 Programs. “The modernized S-61T helicopter can be outfitted to meet a wide variety of requirements, and we believe it provides best-in-class-value for a mid-size, multi-mission helicopter.”
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 worldwide.
Sunk costs may be emotional, but they should not be a factor in deciding if a program should stay-the-course or change directions.MilEME09 said:Too big to cancel? Tories spent $1.7B on troubled chopper program
MCG said:For those that joked we should keep the SeaKing because its 50 years of service fits nicely with the current “heritage announcement” trend, I have read there is now at least one person suggesting we should keep the SeaKing because the airframe still is good enough for the US government to invest.
The good idea fairy never puts that much thought into assessing an idea.Oldgateboatdriver said:But do they say if this refurbishment of S-61T is for airframes, such as ours, that go back to the first batch in 1959 to early 1960's or the final batches in mid to late 1970's? And have they been used (or abused) in extreme conditions like ours?
https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/lockheedmartin-us101-wins-us-presidential-helicopter-contract-064/Final VH-71 cost – $2.3 billion to give Canada 9 helicopters as spare parts vehicles. Why?; Article reformatted.
Jan 27/14: VH-71 Termination. Inside Defense reports that Lockheed Martin and the US government finalized the end of the VH-71 helicopter program on Dec 19/13 with a final $91.1 million payout: $38.5 million for completed work and $51.6 million in termination fees. That brings the termination total to about $203 million (q.v. June 2/11).
The contract was terminated on June 2/09, and the total amount paid to Lockheed over the entire contract ends up costing the taxpayer about $2.2 billion. The biggest reason for all that waste is a President’s own office that couldn’t stop adding requirements (q.v. Dec 13/07, Jan 19/08), but enforcing Navy certification requirements on a helicopter designed to commercial aviation standards wasn’t helpful, either (q.v. March 14/08). Sources: Inside Defense, “DOD, Lockheed Settle On Final $2.3 Billion Tab For Terminated VH-71 Program”.
King Stallion: Newest Marine Helo Gets a Royal Rollout
May. 5, 2014 - 08:36PM | By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS |
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — To the fanfare of a US Marine bandand in the presence of helicopter royalty, Sikorsky rolled out the first flying CH-53K heavy-lift test helicopter Monday, moments after Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, revealed the new aircraft’s nickname: King Stallion.
The name perpetuates the Sea Stallion monicker of the two-engined CH-53 first introduced in 1966, and the later three-engined CH-53E Super Stallion.
“It is a bird that has a very special place in my heart,” said Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder and helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky.
The younger Sikorsky, now 80 and a “goodwill ambassador” for the company, was the program manager in his younger days for the CH-53G version produced for the German Army, and came to Florida especially for the rollout.
Onlookers, which included Marine combat veterans and industry partners, crowded around to get a first look at the new aircraft, the first of four flying engineering development models built here at Sikorsky’s sprawling facility set amidst the wetlands and resident alligators of the Gold Coast.
Although the King Stallion looks unmistakably like its predecessor H-53s, it features a great many improvements over the previous CH-53E model.
“This is a new aircraft,” proclaimed Col. Robert Pridgen, the Marines’ heavy-lift helicopter program manager. “We started with a clean sheet.”
The aircraft — the first Sikorsky aircraft to be entirely designed using digital tools — features three new T-408 General Electric Aviation engines, providing 50 percent power than the E model.
Pridgen ticked off the improvements and changes: new main rotor blades, new transmission, wide use of composite airframe construction, fly-by-wire digital flight controls.
The aircraft, he added, has numerous features to make maintenance and servicing much easier — fewer engine parts, better parts access, easier seat removal in the main cargo space.
The classic form of the aircraft, Sikorsky pointed out, is due to the need to fit aboard Navy ships.
“We want to carry much more, carry it higher, operate at higher temperatures,” he explained. “But we have the dimensions of the aircraft carrier, and that is the deciding factor. It is the one single engineering challenge to do the job, get the required performance, and get the aircraft small enough to go up and down the elevator.”
Since the program was re-baselined in 2009, Pridgen said, he’s “holding tight” to cost growth — “less than five percent over budget.”
The key, he pointed out, was rigorous control over requirements creep — the tendency to want to add and change features over the course of construction. “No is the first thing you have to learn to say,” he said.
Rear Adm. Cindy Jaynes, Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs, declared the 53K “is the future for heavy lift for the Marine Corps.” Despite the budget-cutting pressure sweeping the Pentagon, she said, “there is support from both the Marines and the Navy to keep this program going forward.”
The Marines plan to buy a total of 200 King Stallions, with the first aircraft to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) in 2019.
Although the program has experience some delays, officials noted some of that time has been made up.
Asked if he was confident the 2019 IOC could be reached, Amos said it would be.
“I’m the commandant of the Marine Corps,” he told reporters after the ceremony. “I’m the eternal optimist.”
The Harper government formally signed a deal Wednesday to amend its contract with the U.S. manufacturer of the long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters.
The agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft — a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) — paves the way for the retirement next year of Canada’s outdated fleet of Sea King choppers.
United Technologies issued a brief statement saying the contract amendment clears the way for the delivery of the 28 aircraft under the $5.7-billion program, which had been stalled and appeared in jeopardy of being cancelled last fall.
It did not disclose any details of about the new agreement.
It’s the second time the government has negotiated a contract amendment with Sikorsky, which has missed previous deadlines to deliver completed helicopters, accruing more than $88 million in penalties as a result.
It's unclear how that will be resolved ....
Today, the Government of Canada announced that it has completed all required amendments to both the acquisition and long-term in-service support contracts with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the acquisition and maintenance of 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). These contract amendments are further to the Principles of Agreement announced in January 2014.
The amended acquisition will ensure the delivery of helicopters with operational capability to begin retirement of the Sea Kings in 2015, and a program to enhance those capabilities culminating in a fully capable CH-148 maritime helicopter beginning in 2018.
In its final configuration, the CH-148 Cyclone will be one of the most capable maritime helicopters in the world, and at the forefront of modern technology. It will be capable of a full range of search and rescue and utility missions in challenging environments. The CH-148 Cyclone will also be fully interoperable in a modern battle space, and will be able to concurrently conduct a full spectrum of anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare in hostile, high-threat environments.
The Government of Canada engaged the services of an independent third party—Hitachi Consulting—to review and assess the viability of the Maritime Helicopter Project. The third-party expert confirmed the viability of the project under a new governance structure and phased delivery of the maritime helicopters. With the contract now completed, Hitachi Consulting will continue to oversee aspects of the implementation plan, ensuring that delivery times remain as promised for the RCAF.
As previously announced, payment will be issued to Sikorsky only upon capability delivery.
The total budget of $1.9 billion for the acquisition of the 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters has not changed.
The budget for in-service support (including the amendments to the contract) totals $5.7 billion.
The project is being implemented under a new governance model, including integrated teams from Sikorsky and Canada, supported by Hitachi Consulting.
The amendment to the in-service support contract extends the term by an additional 10 years at rates based on those competed in 2004, thus generating significant value for taxpayers. This amendment ensures maintenance of the Cyclone helicopters until 2038.
Colin P said:Technically have they not already done the first "delivery" It's just that we did not accept it?