Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has delivered an S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter to Jalisco, the first state government in Mexico to acquire the newest variant of the world's most employed military utility aircraft. Jalisco state police will deploy the aircraft for general law enforcement with initial aircraft operation anticipated during October's XVI Pan American Games. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
"An aircraft of this quality and value is a big investment for a state," said Luis Carlos Najera Guittierrez de Velasco, Secretario de Seguridad Publica of Jalisco. "The functionality and performance of this S-70i helicopter means that Jalisco now has a new and valuable tool to support our policing in the region."
Designed specifically for the international marketplace, S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopters are manufactured at Sikorsky's production facility in Mielec, Poland. The delivery to Jalisco marks the fourth successful export of an S-70i aircraft from PZL Mielec in the last 60 days.
The S-70i aircraft arrived in Guadalajara on September 18 aboard an IL76 Cargo plane from Poland less than four months after the state placed the order with Sikorsky in late May 2011.
"We are very pleased we could deliver this S-70i variant in time for the Pan American Games," said Robert Mastronardi, S-70i Senior Program Manager, Sikorsky Military Systems. "Our ability to produce and directly export BLACK HAWK aircraft to international customers is an excellent way for national and state governments around the world to quickly acquire a helicopter platform renowned for its reliability, high performance and multi-role versatility."
Captain Rogelio Barrera Gonzalez, Chief Pilot for the State of Jalisco, arrived at Sikorsky's PZL Mielec facility in Poland on September 12. After touring the PZL manufacturing and flight operations, Captain Barrera immediately began ground and flight acceptance procedures.
"I was very pleased with the quality of the aircraft, the facility and the people that made this product a reality for the State of Jalisco," said Captain Barrera. "I would like to thank all of those people in Mexico, the United States and in Poland who supported the purchase and delivery of this helicopter. I am very excited to start flight operations with the State of Jalisco."
Captain Barrera has now started ground and flight training at PZL Mielec and will meet up with the aircraft in early October.
The S-70i helicopter marks the 20th BLACK HAWK aircraft now operational in Mexico. The Mexican Air Force, the Mexican Navy and Federal Police operate a total of 19 UH-60L and UH-60M BLACK HAWK aircraft acquired since the mid 1990s. Sikorsky expects to deliver another three UH-60M BLACK HAWK aircraft to the Federal Police by early 2012.
"The delivery to the State of Jalisco of this exceptional and unique S-70i BLACK HAWK product highlights the fact that we are witnessing the growth of a new generation of internationally built BLACK HAWK helicopters, built in Poland and ready to serve world markets," said Janusz Zakrecki, CEO of PZL Mielec.
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