Sikorsky’s Military Helicopter Market Booms

Issue: 2 / 2020

As per Forecast International, Sikorsky is one of the dominant manufacturers on the military side of the rotorcraft market, but has only a relatively small slice of the civil market. The H-60 series of Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters provides the company with a solid business foundation in the military market, with US Army procurement of the Black Hawk at the core of this foundation. The Black Hawk is also a popular item on the export market, while the US Air Force is acquiring a Black Hawk variant, the HH-60W, for combat search-and-rescue. However, US Army procurement of the UH-60M is currently planned to end in the late 2020s and, while export sales will keep the Black Hawk in production, the total annual production of the model will probably start to decline at that point in time. Thus, the Pentagon’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme looms large in the future market outlook for Sikorsky and other military rotorcraft manufacturers. Sikorsky will be a prime contender for the various FVL contracts. It has proposed the S-97 based Raider X for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) effort and may, along with Boeing, offer a derivative of the SB>1 Defiant for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) project.