Air Platforms

Sikorsky in Colombia finishes Black Hawk production with unfinished airframe outside US for first time

09 December 2019

This Colombian Army Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter is the first outside the US to be rebuilt to flight-worthy status with an airframe imported from Sikorsky's Connecticut facility. Source: Jane’s/Pat Host

Key Points

  • Sikorsky, for the first time, rebuilt a Black Hawk outside the US with an imported airframe
  • This offers an economic option for customers as opposed to losing an aircraft or buying a new platform

Sikorsky has, for the first time, taken an unfinished Black Hawk utility helicopter airframe to finish production outside the United States at its hangar at the Colombian National Army's Tolemaida Air Base.

Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky Latin America regional executive and product marketing director, told Jane's on 6 December that Sikorsky built additional UH-60L airframes when production of the model ended because they anticipated customers would need them. The Colombian National Army (Ejército Nacional de Colombia: EJC) needed an aircraft as it had a crash-damaged UH-60L that was beyond economical repair due to a hard landing and roll-over.

The EJC purchased two unfinished airframes and had them shipped down from Sikorsky's Connecticut facility. The army furnished a large amount of parts to Sikorsky Colombia, or bought new parts if it did not have them in stock, to populate the build of this damaged airframe and bring it back to flight-worthy status.

The UH-60L being rebuilt is model 2157. The EJC also purchased airframe model 2157 and is taking parts from this aircraft to rebuild model 2179.

Schierholz said buying this airframe was an economical choice for the EJC as it had two options after this aircraft was badly damaged: It could lose an aircraft or it could buy a whole new platform.

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