- Sikorsky is promoting its first company-qualified armed variant of its latest model Black Hawk aircraft
- The company has pitched this armed Black Hawk to a regional customer
Sikorsky is promoting for the first time in Latin America its first company-qualified, fully integrated armed version of its latest S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopter with hopes of securing a regional military as the model's first customer.
Sikorsky had a mockup armed Black Hawk display at the Farnborough Air Show in 2016 to show what the company had in development. This year, in January, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rolled it out and now that model has officially been qualified by Sikorsky.
The company has a potential customer in the region and is promoting this fully-integrated armed S-70i for its versatility. Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky Latin America regional executive and product marketing director, told Jane's on 2 December at Expodefensa that this potential customer has two different defined needs for the future -one for utility aircraft and another for armed aircraft.
"This is exactly what we have been looking for," Schierholz said. "The beauty of combining those two needs into one aircraft allows the customer to save a ton of money."
The company is marketing this armed S-70i as an affordable option for militaries with smaller budgets such as those in the Latin America region. The aircraft, Schierholz told Jane's on 25 November ahead of Expodefensa, can be switched from utility to armed in three hours by adding the wings and weapons without requiring dedicated crew, training, and spares. This is the first time that Sikorsky has qualified its own armed Black Hawk.
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