United Rotorcraft awards contract to Sikorsky for five S-70 Black Hawk helicopters

FIREHAWK S-70 helicopter ©Lockheed Martin

United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, has awarded Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, a contract for five S-70 Black Hawk helicopters. The bulk order will enable United Rotorcraft, as the only company authorized by Sikorsky to modify Black Hawk aircraft to the FIREHAWK configuration, to quickly deliver these new production aircraft for aerial firefighting in support of public agencies battling increasingly destructive wildland fires.

Sikorsky will produce the five S-70 Black Hawk aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s PZL Mielec manufacturing line in Poland. Deliveries to United Rotorcraft’s 55,000+ ft² completions facility in Colorado are expected between early 2022 and mid-2023. The first aircraft received will be configured as a FIREHAWK helicopter for the State of Colorado, which announced its contract with United Rotorcraft on August 16.

To modify a Black Hawk helicopter to the FIREHAWK configuration, United Rotorcraft installs and integrates a 1,000-gallon (3,785-liter) external water tank system to the aircraft’s belly. Fingertip controls allow pilots to drop a precise amount of water with high accuracy and refill the tank via a retractable snorkel in 60 seconds or less while hovering ten feet over a water source. United Rotorcraft works hand in hand with public agencies to further customize the aircraft, as needed, from communications and navigation systems, to cabin interiors, transforming the FIREHAWK into a true multi-mission aircraft, with the ability to transport up to 12 firefighters, provide medical care on board, or perform search and rescue operations.

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