UK is looking around for a proven chopper, S-70M may replace Puma
LONDON, ($1=0.76 British Pounds) – Sikorsky, part of the Lockheed Martin group, in response to a request for a proposal from the UK Department of Defense regarding the successor to the Puma machines in the New Medium Helicopter [NMH] program, presented a solution based on the S-70M Black Hawk helicopter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defence24. This is an option that is currently being developed in the plants of PZL Mielec.
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“We believe that the mature military design of the Black Hawk helicopter, the latest generation systems, proven combat effectiveness, multitasking, open architecture, and a wide range of additional mission equipment make it the best answer to the requirements of the British NMH, especially in comparison with originally designed helicopters for non-military civilian missions,” said Paul Livingston, CEO of Lockheed Martin UK
In his speech, the head of the British branch of Lockheed Martin certainly referred to competitive offers, which according to current knowledge include the Italian machines Leonardo Helicopters AW149 and the still unspecified type of helicopter Airbus Helicopters. Most likely, this will be the military version of the average machine H175M. Thus, he stressed that Black Hawk was created from the beginning in response to the requirements of the battlefield and has been developed in this direction.
The offer does not include the UH-60M machines covered by the FMS program, but the S-70M machines currently available on the market are sold by PZL Mielec’s plants, which are not subject to such strict restrictions. This is because the United Kingdom requires the involvement of local industry in production, training, and operational support, and the number of jobs and investment on the islands are important factors to consider.
Lockheed Martin UK is now a company with almost 80 years of tradition, employing 1,800 people in the UK and creating more than 20,000 jobs thanks to a network of nearly 700 companies in the supply chain. 76 percent of them are small and medium enterprises.
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