News: USA - Avalon 2011: Sikorsky details remanufacturing strategy
Sikorsky has detailed plans to roll-out a remanufacturing programme outside the US, initially designed to sell cut-price variants of its Hawk series of helicopters worldwide.
Friday, 4th March 2011
Speaking at the Avalon International Airshow in Geelong, Australia, Chris Clapperton, director maritime and Asia strategies for Sikorsky Aerospace Services, described his aspiration for a 'global business' focused on remanufacturing utility variants of Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters. According to Sikorsky market analysis, the global helicopter market is estimated to be worth around $180 billion between 2010 and 2019 with 42 per cent of the 'international military market' understood to be open for such a project. Currently, Sikorsky is remanufacturing S-61T and H-60 airframes in the US for the Department of State, Colombian Air Force and US Customs and Border Protection Agency. In order to launch this initiative outside the US, Sikorsky could be supplied with 50 S-70 aircraft from the Australian Defence Force as 'government furnished equipment'. Profits from the programme will be shared between Sikorsky and the Australian government. Clapperton said Sikorsky was targeting countries requiring a 'military capability but with budget constraints' and described how the remanufactured helicopters would not require electronic safety measures or other 'fancy gadgets'. Declining to name specific countries, Clapperton said Sikorsky would be targeting Asia-Pacific, Africa, South America and certain users in Europe for the sale of the remanufactured helicopters which it's claimed will be available for between $9 and 12 million - half the normal price of a S-70 platform, he added. 'This is a new market for Sikorsky and a growing market around the world. A number of countries are feeling the [economic] pinch in the global market,' Clapperton explained. Sikorsky has already lined up Rockwell Collins Australia, Lovitt Technologies, Cablex, Production Parts, Ferra Engineering, Aero Plastics and Varley Group to join the production process. Remanufacturing will initially focus on utility aircraft with around 5,000 airframe hours left before their next life extension. Work will include new wiring and rooftops; avionics updates; provision of glass cockpits; general overhaul and paint jobs. Describing future potential for the programme, Clapperton said options included the establishment of Sikorsky Helitech as a 'regional hub' for throughlife support of remanufactured aircraft and said he intended to include some of the 400 regionally-based Hawk family aircraft for remanufacturing. Elsewhere, he said Sikorsky was targeting a 'portion of the US Excess Defense Articles to the remanufacturing production lines'.