Sikorsky Aircraft has established a new business office in Bogota, Colombia, to extend its support for the country's UH-60 Black Hawk military helicopter fleet.
The new office will serve as a central, in-country point of contact for the Colombian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to manage all aspects of business, such as aftermarket support, programme management and administrative requirements with Sikorsky.
Sikorsky Aircraft president Mick Maurer said: "Our continued investments in support services exemplify Sikorsky's solid commitment to enhance the Ministry of Defence and the Colombian Armed Forces' fleet availability and operational readiness."
Sikorsky Aerospace Services sales and strategic relationships vice president Frank DiPasquale said the company completely understands the Colombian military's requirement to maintain its Black Hawk fleet at optimal mission readiness.
"Our goal is to provide the needed OEM support expertise and capabilities directly where our customers operate," DiPasquale added.
The company is also planning to set up South America's first Black Hawk helicopter training facility in Melgar, Colombia, in early 2013 to offer pilot and flight crew training for the Colombian Armed Forces and its military customers across Latin America.
Construction work is currently underway and the facility will feature the region's only full motion, high fidelity Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) level D equivalent Black Hawk simulator.
Sikorsky Areospace Services already operates a service depot in Tolemaida, which has recently completed phase maintenance inspections and 120-hour inspections on the Colombian Army Aviation's UH-60L Black Hawks.
Colombia is the fourth largest Black Hawk operator in the world, with a total of 100 helicopters currently in use with the army, air force and national police, for search-and-rescue (SAR), medical evacuation, disaster relief, anti-drug, and counter-insurgency missions.
Image: A Colombian Air Force's AH-60L Arpia III gunship version helicopter during its flight. Photo: courtesy of Andrés Ramírez.