Aviation Week's Overhaul & Maintenance Magazine has presented its prestigious 2012 MRO of the Year Award for military center of excellence to Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS). SAS, which received the award at the recent MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition in Dallas, Texas, is the worldwide aftermarket division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
SAS was recognized for its Technical, Engineering, Logistics, and Services and Supplies (TELSS) partnership with the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas, which supports the U.S. Army's H-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter repair and overhaul program. The TELSS/CCAD partnership delivered back into service a record-breaking 48 newly refurbished BLACK HAWK helicopters in 2011.
"The BLACK HAWK upgrade program at CCAD represents tremendous cost savings to the U.S. government by updating older aircraft to the latest UH-60L configuration. Retiring these older BLACK HAWK helicopters would compel the government to replenish its fleet with new aircraft - at a much higher cost per unit," said David Adler, SAS President. "The TELSS/CCAD partnership is committed to performing quality work that provides commercial best-practices that drive productivity and innovation and ultimately produce safer, more reliable BLACK HAWK helicopters. The benefit of increased aircraft readiness supports our government's ability to execute successful missions throughout the world."
"We are very proud of the recognition that this award bestows upon our CCAD team. Over the past 10 years, we have done tremendous work to increase the technical capability, share industry best practices, and streamline the depot," said George Mitchell, SAS Vice President of Military Customer Support, who accepted the award. "Our support of the Army's BLACK HAWK fleet continues to show our commitment to this battle-proven product."
Formed in 2003, the TELSS partnership between SAS and CCAD supports all facets of the U.S. Army's H-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter repair and overhaul program. The Army's BLACK HAWK UH-60A fleet is upgraded to the UH-60L model, which includes a new, more powerful transmission, engines, upgraded airframe and enhanced safety features. Since the formation of the partnership, several hundred Sikorsky Aircraft process improvement recommendations have been submitted to CCAD, resulting in a savings of $3.8 million. Implementation of these processes also has increased production by more than 300 percent with only a 30 percent increase in manpower.
"Our partnership with Sikorsky has allowed us to do many things that before were considered undoable," said Col. Christopher Carlile, Depot Commander. "It's in the best interest of our soldiers, and we look forward to maintaining a partnership that's a win-win as much as possible."
Through TELSS, Sikorsky provides the depot with technical, engineering, and logistical support services for BLACK HAWK and HH-60G PAVE HAWK(TM) helicopters. SAS is able to leverage Sikorsky's manufacturing efficiencies and extensive supply chain to provide material support for the aircraft and component overhaul. As a result of the partnership with Sikorsky, the depot is currently able to maintain a 93 percent fill rate on aircraft requirements. SAS provides a 30-person on-site team including embedded engineers who continually relay Sikorsky's best manufacturing practices to CCAD and provide engineering analysis for repair procedure changes that reduce overall material costs. Throughout the overhaul and repair process, SAS is able to interpret aircraft documentation, quickly solve any technical questions and keep production moving.
In recent years, partly in response to tightening Department of Defense budgets, Sikorsky has been exploring innovative ways for its customers to realize their mission readiness goals in a more cost-effective manner. Sikorsky has a stated enterprise-wide goal of reducing the operating costs of its platforms by 10 percent annually. In addition to CCAD, Sikorsky has received recognition for its Performance-Based Logistics Program in support of more than 500 in-service H-60 U.S. Navy SEAHAWK® helicopters. That program won the Defense Logistics 2011 Award for Best PBL Implementation and was the largest contract ($1.4 billion) ever awarded by the Naval Systems Supply Command.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services, a Sikorsky company, provides comprehensive support to rotary- and fixed-wing operators around the world. It offers its military and commercial customers a full portfolio of support services, including material distribution, maintenance, overhaul & repair, aircraft modifications and life-cycle support. 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.
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