Another huge military helicopters manufacturer interested to come to Romania. Find out who it is…

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US-based Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky aircraft sets its sights on producing S-70 Black Hawk helicopters in Romania, in Brasov or Craiova, if the army chooses this helicopter model to replace the old helicopter fleet Puma, the representatives of the American company, who have had several discussions with officials of the Romanian state in the last year and a half told News.ro, digi24.ro informs.

Sikorsky is the second competitor of Airbus Helicopters to equip the Romanian army with new multirole military helicopters to replace the old Puma helicopters, after Bell Helicopter, which wants assembling the AH-1Z Viper in Romania.

However, the players in the sector say that decisions on such contracts have an important political component, and discussions between companies’ representatives and Romanian officials in the government or the Ministry of Defense are constantly taking place.

“At this point, the discussions (with Romanian officials – editor’s note) continue to be preliminary, they are at the stage of market analysis, product analysis, referring to the operational capabilities of the various flying machines they are considering. Sikorsky has been in talks over the past 18 months with representatives of the Romanian government on a possible acquisition of helicopters,” Joel Villa, Sikorsky ‘s regional director for helicopters in central and Eastern European countries, told.

According to him, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin continue to be interested in partnerships with countries that have a good supply base, a developed industry and a skilled workforce, such as Romania.

Sikorsky, a company that was taken over in 2015 by the Lockheed Martin group – one of the largest players in the military equipment market (Aerospace & Defense) – has since 2007 a factory in Southeast Poland at Mielec, the only company outside the United States. In this context, the Romanian Ambassador to Warsaw visited the Sikorsky plant at Mielec two months ago to see how the helicopter model works.

If the decision to manufacture the Black Hawk helicopter in Romania will be taken, the production model could be that introduced at the factory at Mielec.

The costs for a Black Hawk helicopter starts from USD 12 million, up to USD 25 million, including additional equipment, maintenance, or pilot training.

Just recently, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) issued a USD 3.8 billion U.S. contract to Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky for 257 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the U.S. Army and Saudi Arabia on Friday June 30.

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