Sikorsky has signed a spare parts reseller agreement with the Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica de Colombia (CIAC) to support the country’s Black Hawk helicopter fleet.

The CIAC is owned by the Colombian Ministry of Defense and operates as an independent entity.

The agreement allows the CIAC to acquire original Black Hawk helicopter spare parts from Sikorsky.

The CIAC will resale the acquired parts from Sikorsky to the Colombian Army (COLAR), Colombian Air Force (COLAF) and the National Police.

Advance material procurement and storage, including the processing of component repairs, will allow the Colombian firm to swiftly fulfil orders whenever required.

The Colombian Army, Air Force and National Police have collectively acquired a total of 97 UH-60L and S-70i Black Hawk aircraft.

The reseller agreement marks the first time Sikorsky has partnered with a commercial aerospace support provider to allow the Black Hawk helicopter parts to be resold in Colombia.

Sikorsky sustainment business development director Felipe Benvegnu said: “This reseller agreement gives CIAC exclusivity in Colombia to buy genuine OEM Black Hawk parts from Sikorsky, and then hold the parts in a local warehouse for supply on demand.

“The effect of this arrangement will be to shorten lead times of critical items, which should ultimately result in improved operational availability of Colombia’s Black Hawk fleets.

“We are delighted to expand our already strong relationship with CIAC to help keep these aircraft at peak flight readiness.”

Through the agreement, Sikorsky and the CIAC will work in close cooperation to manage the Black Hawk Flight Simulator Center at Luis Pinto Air Force Base (AFB) in Melgar, Colombia.

The centre is used by instructors to train pilots for the Colombian Army, Colombian Air Force, and the National Police Black Hawk fleets. It is also used by the Brazilian Armed Forces.

CIAC general manager major general Iván Hidalgo said: “I feel great pride that from within CIAC we can contribute to the strengthening of the national air power, by unifying the logistical support of the UH-60 fleets in Colombia.

“By achieving this consolidation for the first time, a strong and close relationship with the manufacturer allows us to continue working for the benefit of the military forces and the National Police.”

In April this year, Sikorsky showcased its S-97 Raider helicopter prototype for the US Army as part of the future attack reconnaissance aircraft (FARA) programme.