Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT) received a type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifying that the S-70M Black Hawk helicopter design meets the applicable airworthiness requirements in the Restricted Category. The type certificate will allow Sikorsky to request authorization from the FAA to produce S-70M aircraft for the following special purpose operations increasingly requested by the growing civil helicopter market: external cargo, agriculture operations, and forest and wildlife conservation.
“We thank the FAA for issuing the type certificate for the S-70M, the third generation aircraft in the Black Hawk family,” said Nathalie Previte, Sikorsky vice president, Strategy & Business Development. “FAA type certification in the Restricted Category will be tremendously attractive to local government agencies, municipalities and commercial transport companies across the U.S., and even to some international operators, that want to acquire new Black Hawk helicopters direct from Sikorsky to accomplish specific tasks.”
Within the forest and wildlife conservation special purpose category, Restricted Category aircraft may drop water as part of an aerial firefighting operation. Increasingly, Sikorsky is receiving orders and inquiries from municipalities in California and other western states for the S-70 Firehawk™, a modified Black Hawk that can fight wildland fires with a 1,000-gallon external water tank.
The S-70M is based on the UH-60M utility helicopter that Sikorsky has built since 2005 for the U.S. Army, which has purchased more than 1,000 of the type for itself and international militaries.
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