US DoS Orders 2 Upgraded S-61 Helos for Air Transport in AfghanistanShelton, Connecticut - Sikorsky Aerospace Services today announced an order for two upgraded S-61(tm) utility helicopters for use in Afghanistan to support drug interdiction efforts. Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) is the aftermarket division of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
Earlier this year, the State Department entered into a five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity ("IDIQ") contract for up to 110 upgraded S-61 aircraft for passenger and cargo transport missions in support of its worldwide operations. This IDIQ purchase agreement serves as the contracting vehicle for any U.S. Government agency to purchase upgraded S-61 aircraft. As a result of this latest order, two aircraft will support the U.S. Embassy and assist in the counternarcotics missions of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department ordered 11 additional upgraded S-61 utility helicopters for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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"This order brings the total number of upgraded S-61 purchased to 17 aircraft. The first four aircraft ordered in February are currently in completion and are scheduled for deployment in Afghanistan this fall," added Anthony Serksnas, Director, S-61 Programs.
The S-61 helicopter is known as an industry workhorse, and for more than 50 years has reliably and safely performed missions for U.S. and foreign allied militaries. The upgraded S-61 incorporates key components including composite main rotor blades (CMRB), a state-of-the-art glass cockpit and modular wiring harness - all of which dramatically improve aircraft supportability. Additional features have been incorporated to reduce pilot fatigue and maintenance requirements for increased safety.
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