S-70 helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft has signed agreements with the Turkish Government and key local aerospace contractors regarding production and assembly of T-70 helicopters, the Turkish variants of Sikorsky’s S-70i International Black Hawk helicopter.

The agreements were signed with the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan, under the Turkish utility helicopter programme (TUHP), and licenses for the transfer of certain manufacturing technology to local industry.

Sikorsky president Mick Maurer said: "We have signed contracts that will raise our already strong supplier and customer relationships in Turkey to levels that we expect will endure for decades.

"We are very pleased that these agreements will potentially open additional markets."

"We are very pleased that these agreements will potentially open additional markets for the world’s leading utility military helicopter while strengthening Turkish industry’s position as a world-class aerospace provider."

Subject to requisite export approvals, the agreements allow for production of up to a total of 600 aircraft, including both T-70 units for Turkish indigenous use and S-70i aircraft for export over the next 30 years.

TAI will serve as the prime contractor for T-70 licensed production and assembly using components supplied by Sikorsky and other US and Turkish companies.

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Aselsan will produce a new cockpit avionics system for integration in the T-70 aircraft.

The programme will have a total value of $3.5bn, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI and other TUHP suppliers, according to a report by the Turkish Defence Industry Executive Committee.

Apart from working with TAI and Aselsan, Sikorsky will also expand the manufacturing capability of Alp Aviation, which is 50% owned by Sikorsky.

Image: A Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopter at ILA Berlin Air Show 2012. Photo: courtesy of Julian Herzog.

Defence Technology