Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter subsidiary of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), signed a new five-year contract this week with the U.S. Army to deliver more Black Hawk helicopters. According to the deal, Sikorsky will deliver a baseline of 120 H-60M Black Hawk helicopters and will have the option to produce up to 225 more aircraft for both the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.
Sikorsky said the deal would be worth approximately $2.3 billion but could stretch to $4.4 billion for the company, if the Army fully exercises its options for the additional aircraft.
In a statement, Col. Calvin Lane, the Army’s utility helicopters project manager, said, “This multi-year agreement allows the Army to meet current and future capability needs through upgrades, remanufacturing replacement, and technology insertions.” Lane also said it would ultimately save the Army and taxpayers money, but did not disclose how much.
This is the 10th multi-year contract between Sikorsky and the U.S. Army for its UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC helicopters, with the Army already having more than 2,100 H-60 variants enrolled. The extended H-60 partnership gives the Army the support it needs to maintain its current operations while working on its Future Vertical Lift (VFL) offerings to complement the Black Hawk in a future fleet.
Meanwhile, Nathalie Previte, vice president of Sikorsky’s Army and Air Force programs, said the ongoing partnership between the Army and Sikorsky has kept the program thriving and said this 10th contract was a testament to the strength of the partnership. As for the international demand for Black Hawks, Previte said international interest was strong because of the Black Hawk’s “versatility and proven record of providing unwavering support to the U.S. and nations around the globe.”
Sikorsky has built and delivered more than 4,000 Black Hawks to the U.S. military and 28 of its allies since launching the aircraft in the 1970s. Today, the Army uses it primarily for medevac trips and transportation of troops.
Previte said Sikorsky has steadily improved the Black Hawk platform, making it more modern to keep up with the demands for sustainability and digitalization. For instance, the Black Hawks will adopt the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program engine by General Electric Aviation to extend the lifetime of the helicopters. This is one step the Army is taking to modernize its flight capabilities. Sikorsky will also align its investments with the Army’s roadmap to ensure the Black Hawk is a critical player in the military’s integrated operations known as Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO) and the future of vertical lift priorities, Previte said.