Lockheed Martin UK has established its own team of British companies to compete for the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s $1.27 billion New Medium Helicopter contract award, under which the MOD would procure up to 44 aircraft as part of its modernization efforts.
The team proposes the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter to replace MOD’s aging aircraft fleet, including the Royal Air Force Puma HC2, Bell 212, Bell 412 and AS365 Dauphins, according to a Breaking Defense report.
In a press release, Lockheed said Black Hawk is the right replacement choice because of its proven capabilities after up to 15 million flight hours, including in combat environments. It noted that the United Kingdom’s NATO partners employ the helicopter, enabling the British military to benefit from interoperability with allied services.
The company also highlighted the strong support the utility helicopter has received from the U.S. Army, which ensures its sustainment and continued operations into the 2070s.
Despite a global network of spare parts and services for Black Hawk maintenance and repairs, Lockheed plans to improve its aircraft sustainment capabilities in the U.K. If awarded the contract, the contractor would perform nearly half of the production process in the U.K., creating about 660 jobs annually between 2025 and 2030.
The company is competing with Airbus Helicopters and Boeing, which are offering the H175M aircraft, and Leonardo Helicopters and its AW149 helicopter.