3-Feb-2011 Source: Sikorsky
BEEVILLE, Texas â€“ Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) today delivered the second UH-60 aircraft that has undergone â€œA-Aâ€ to â€œLâ€ recapitalization for use by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP). Distinguished as the fifth helicopter off the original BLACK HAWK helicopter production line, this fully upgraded UH-60L model will execute national security missions mandated by the CBP. Nicknamed â€œ718â€ from the last three digits of its identification number, the rebirth of this more than 30-year-old aircraft marks the second U.S. Army recapitalization upgrade performed at SASâ€™s Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility. SAS is the aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
A major aviation facility, SAS MRO has become a pivotal location for aircraft overhaul, repair and upgrades for the United States Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies, and allied foreign militaries throughout the world. Based largely on the success of the H-60 recapitalization and upgrade program started more than eight years ago at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas, it has proven to be one of the most effective and productive fleet maintenance programs ever accomplished by the U.S. Army.
â€œAfter 32 years of service to various U.S. government entities as a model â€˜A,â€™ aircraft 718 has rolled out of SAS MRO essentially a new helicopter. Now a UH-60L model, the aircraft is equipped for enhanced performance alongside all other U.S. Department of Defense service aircraft,â€ said David Adler, President of Sikorsky Aerospace Services. â€œWe look forward to continuing our upgrade work and providing cost effective solutions to extend the life of the BLACK HAWK helicopter fleet available through the Armyâ€™s Excess Defense Article (EDA) program.â€
LTC Heyward Wright, Product Manager UH-60A/L/M, participated in the rollout ceremony and stated: â€œWe in the Utility Helicopters Project Office recognize the hard work of the Sikorsky team here at Chase Field. Your efforts on behalf of the Customs and Border Protection Agency will directly support our nationâ€™s security. You have provided America with the latest in vertical flight technology in a sustainable and versatile package. I thank this workforce for your dedication, for your persistence and for the delivery of this aircraft. The crews that fly this helicopter will never know your names â€“ but your fingerprints are forever imprinted on the aircraft behind me. I want to thank those of you who made this possible for your herculean efforts, and I wish the crews who will man this aircraft God Speed.â€
Aircraft 718 has undergone major structural modifications to extend the service life of the airframe: upgrade conversions that include engines, dynamic components and flight controls; and several modification work orders advancing the aircraft to the latest US. Army â€œLâ€ model configuration â€“ including additional requirements specified by the CBP. These features enhance both mission capability and readiness, and bring significantly improved power, durability and reliability to the U. S. Customs and Border Protection fleet.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. Its Sikorsky Aerospace Services business designs and applies advanced logistics and supply chain solutions for commercial rotary, military rotary and fixed wing operators. 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.