Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (UTX - Analyst Report), recently inked an agreement with Milestone Aviation Group, a global finance company that leases helicopters, to sell a fleet of 23 S-92 and seven S-76D helicopters for an undisclosed amount.
The contract also contains a separate provision for additional orders of 14 S-92 and 10 S-76D helicopters. Sikorsky anticipates to start delivering the helicopters in the current year and expects to wind it up by 2017.
Since its inception in 2010, Milestone has provided helicopters to various operators across the globe, primarily serving the offshore oil and gas industry. Presently, it has a fleet of 79 leased helicopters that are cumulatively worth over $1 billion. As demand for offshore oil helicopters has surged in the recent years, the newly ordered helicopters are likely to further help it in augmenting its position in the market.
Certified to meet the most stringent safety requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the S-92 helicopter is one of the most advanced helicopters in the civil product line of Sikorsky. It has an advanced health and usage monitoring system that increases its reliability and enables superior fleet-management services.
The S-76D helicopter has optimized Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines and composite main rotor blades with a quiet tail rotor that facilitates reduced external acoustic signature. It combines the flexibility and agility of a helicopter with the comfort, safety and quietness of an airliner, thereby setting a new standard of excellence for Sikorsky.
Sikorsky is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of military and commercial helicopters, and also provides aftermarket helicopter and aircraft parts and services for its parent company United Technologies.
At present, major production programs at Sikorsky include the UH-60M Black Hawk medium-transport helicopters and HH-60M Medevac helicopters for the U.S. and foreign governments, the S-70 Black Hawk for foreign governments, the MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters for the U.S. Navy, the International Naval Hawk for multiple naval missions, and the S-76 and S-92 helicopters for commercial operations.
Based in Hartford, CT, United Technologies provides high-end technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company is a diversified business conglomerate serving various end markets such as aerospace, defense and commercial construction. The business diversification allows the company to remain profitable amid tough economic times.
The operations of the company are primarily classified into two principal businesses: commercial and aerospace. Under its commercial business, the company has Otis and the UTC Climate, Controls & Security division, which combined the former Carrier and UTC Fire & Security divisions. The aerospace business of the company consists of Sikorsky aircraft and the UTC Propulsion & Aerospace Systems, which includes UTC Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney divisions.
United Technologies faces intense competition from industry bigwigs such as China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited (CMHHY), Koninklijke KPN N.V. (KKPNF), and Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). United Technologies presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).