Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today recognized Bristow Helicopters Ltd.’s upcoming launch of the U.K. search and rescue (SAR) contract and the company’s dedication to SAR over the past 40 years. The recognition ceremony was held at the 2015 Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show in Florida. Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliate of Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS). Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
Bristow Helicopters Ltd. was awarded the U.K. SAR contract in March 2013, with services starting on April 1, 2015, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Bristow will operate a fleet of specially commissioned helicopters for the duration of the 10-year contract, which were selected to best meet the SAR requirements of the U.K. The fleet will feature 11 S-92® helicopters that are certified to meet stringent safety requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The S-92 helicopters will operate from five bases strategically located near areas of high SAR incident rates in the U.K.
The S-92 aircraft will be outfitted with state-of-the-art technology including:
- High Definition Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) and thermal image camera technology
- Night vision goggle (NVG) technology including glass cockpit
- Equipped with icing protection system
- Air Speed of 145 knots/166 mph
- Endurance to perform for over four hours without refueling
- Twin hoist
- Comprehensive medical suite
“Sikorsky is honored to have the S-92 helicopter chosen for such a vital mission by one of our longest standing customers, Bristow,” said Shane Eddy, President, Sikorsky Commercial Systems & Services. “Search and rescue missions are our passion, our responsibility and our legacy to continually providing innovative solutions for life-saving missions.”
“Bristow is honored to be conducting SAR services on behalf of the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency. We have enormous respect for the military and the tremendous job they have done over the past 70 years of U.K. search and rescue. Our goal is to meet and exceed the required high expectations for this vital service, building on the valorous achievements of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force,” said Jonathan Baliff, Bristow Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that there are opportunities for us to serve others, delivering search and rescue services for other countries partnering with military or other government agencies around the world.”
Sikorsky and Bristow have done business for more than 40 years. The Bristow fleet currently features more than 160 Sikorsky aircraft of various types.
Bristow Helicopters Ltd. has a long history of providing SAR services in the U.K., dating back to 1971 at RAF Manston in Kent. In 1983 Bristow Helicopters Ltd. established the first civilian SAR bases at Stornoway, Sumburgh, Lee-on-Solent and Portland on behalf of the MCA, operating S-61™ helicopters. Bristow operated this contract until 2007.
In 2012 the company was awarded the U.K. Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland, and, working in partnership with the MCA, currently operates four SAR S-92 helicopters from Sumburgh and Stornoway.
In total Bristow has flown more than 44,000 SAR operational hours and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which more than 7,000 people have been rescued by the company’s crews and helicopters.
Bristow has led the industry in introducing new aircraft types and technology to the civil market. The SAR equipment it has developed has become the industry standard, resulting in Bristow Helicopters Ltd. being recognized with the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its technical developments.
Sikorsky has delivered more than 240 S-92 helicopters to customers throughout the world. In 2014, Sikorsky celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the S-92 helicopter, which was first delivered in 2004. The fleet has reached more than 800,000 flight hours, with over 90 percent of those hours providing offshore oil and gas worker transportation. In addition to SAR and offshore oil and gas, S-92 helicopters perform heads of state missions and a variety of transportation missions for utility and airline passengers.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in aircraft design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.
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