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Military

Sikorsky CH-53K Development Center Opens

Feb. 12, 2007
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STRATFORD, Conn., - General John G. Castellaw, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, today presided over Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.'s official dedication of its CH-53K program's new Heavy Lift Development Center, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opened the 106,000-square-foot office building. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

Also participating in the dedication ceremony were Capt. Rick Muldoon, PMA-261 Heavy Lift Program Manager, state and local elected officials and more than 50 invited guests.

The Heavy Lift Development Center houses the CH-53K Program and Engineering staff, co-locating 500 team members consisting of Sikorsky, Naval Air Systems Command, Defense Contracting Management Agency personnel and subcontractors. These members work in Integrated Product Teams to design, develop, test and manufacture major systems and subsystems within the CH-53K aircraft.

The new offices are located at 3191 Broadbridge Ave., Stratford, approximately five miles from the main Sikorsky facility.

Sikorsky was awarded a $3 billion System Development and Demonstration contract for the United States Marine Corps CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter in April 2006. Under the terms of the SDD contract, Sikorsky will oversee aircraft development, systems integration, test article production and test and evaluation activities on a sole source basis.

"The CH-53K Heavy Lift Development Center creates an integrated environment that will coordinate our efforts across functions as we develop this program to its full potential," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. "The Sikorsky CH-53E SUPER STALLION™ helicopter has been the most capable marinized heavy-lift helicopter in the world for more than 25 years. The new CH-53K promises a marked improvement in payload, range, and 'hot-high' capabilities - taking this great aircraft into the next phase of its illustrious career as Sikorsky continues to pioneer flight solutions that bring people home... everywhere, every time."

"We are proud to co-locate this team of professionals to bring this program to continued success delivering a mission-ready, powerful tool that is equipped the meet the Marine Corps' unique and demanding requirements."

The SDD contract could lead to the production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace roughly an equal number of aging CH-53E SUPER STALLIONs in the Marine Corps' current inventory. Development money and production quantities are determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities.

The three-engine Sikorsky CH-53E SUPER STALLION is the largest, most powerful marinized helicopter in the world. It is deployed from Marine Corps amphibious assault ships to transport personnel and equipment, and to carry external (sling) loads.

The CH-53K will maintain virtually the same footprint as the CH-53E, but will nearly double the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under "hot high" ambient conditions. The CH-53K's maximum gross weight will increase to 84,700 pounds versus 73,000 pounds for the CH-53E.

Upgrades slated for the CH-53K include: joint interoperable glass cockpit fly-by-wire flight controls; high-efficiency rotor blade with anhedral tip; low-maintenance elastomeric rotorhead; gross weight expansion; upgraded engine system; cargo rail locking system; external cargo handling improvements and survivability enhancements; and reduced operation and support costs.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

 

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Media Contact:

Marianne Heffernan
Phone: +1-203-386-4373
Mobile: +1-203-583-9760
mheffernan@sikorsky.com



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