New-Start Programs Highlight Long-Term Outlook in Light Military Rotorcraft Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Airbus’ H160 selected for France’s hélicoptère interarmées léger (HIL) effort. Photo: Airbus

Data generated by Forecast International’s Platinum Forecast System 4.0 indicate that a number of planned new-start acquisition programs will kick-start demand in the long term in the light military rotorcraft market.  A total of 1,630 light military rotorcraft is projected to be produced during the 15-year timeframe between 2018 and 2032.  The value of this production is estimated at $24.4 billion in constant 2018 U.S. dollars.  In general, we define a light military rotorcraft as having a maximum gross weight of less than 6,804 kilograms (15,000 pounds). Continue reading

Poland Opts to Scrap Multibillion-Dollar Caracal Utility Helicopter Procurement

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Airbus Helicopters H225M

Airbus Helicopters H225M

After many months of speculation, Poland’s center-right Law & Justice (PiS) government has at long last opted to forgo further negotiations with Airbus regarding a PLN13.5 billion ($3.5 billion) deal to purchase 50 H225M Caracal medium-lift utility helicopters. The PiS government inherited the negotiations from its predecessor, the centrist Civic Platform (PO) government.

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Poland’s PiS-Led Government Scraps $3 Billion Utility Helicopter Deal

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Airbus Helicopters H225M

Airbus Helicopters H225M. Source – Airbus Helicopters.

In an about-face, Poland will scrap its planned $3 billion procurement of 50 helicopters from Airbus, according to a report published in local daily Rzeczpospolita on February 4.

The decision came quickly.

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L-3 WESCAM’s MX-Series to Equip Airbus Helicopters’ H225M and H145M

By Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Airbus Helicopters H225M will utilize the M-X Series

Airbus Helicopters H225M will utilize the M-X Series

L-3 WESCAM announced at the Paris Air Show that variants of the company’s MX-Series had been selected by Airbus Helicopters as the targeting systems for its Generic Weapon Systems program. The systems will be key components of Airbus H225M and H145M helicopters, enabling these aircraft to engage in anti-submarine warfare, tactical troop transport, search-and-rescue, and medevac missions, as well as being employed for special operations. Continue reading

UTC Moves Ahead With Sikorsky Divestiture

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Sikorksy Combat Rescue Helicopter

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter

 

On the opening day of the Paris Air Show, United Technologies Corp (UTC) revealed that it has decided to proceed with a sale or spinoff of its Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary.  Earlier this year, UTC had announced that it was reviewing strategic alternatives regarding Sikorsky’s future within the UTC corporate portfolio.

At the time, Forecast International wrote that Sikorsky had a bright future with or without UTC.  We pointed to such factors as Sikorsky’s continuing leadership in the military rotorcraft market among Western manufacturers, underscored by robust U.S. Army procurement of Black Hawk helicopters as well as key wins in such contests as the U.S. Air Force combat rescue helicopter and U.S. Navy VXX presidential helicopter programs.  Added to this are Sikorsky’s smaller but growing presence in the civil rotorcraft market and the bright outlook for the firm in the increasingly important helicopter aftermarket.
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Airbus Helicopters Unveils H160; Rebrands Product Line

by Raymond Jaworowski, Forecast International.

Airbus Helicopters unveiled the new H160 civil medium twin helicopter in early March at the Heli-Expo show in Orlando, Florida.  Previously known as the X4, the H160 is intended to replace the Dauphin series in the company’s product line.

Airbus Helicopters H160

Airbus Helicopters H160

The H160 will be powered by a pair of 1,100-shp Turbomeca Arrano engines.  Maximum takeoff weight will be in the 5.5-6.0-metric-ton range.  Other features of the new helicopter will include a composite airframe, Blue Edge composite rotor blades, the Helionix avionics suite, electrically actuated landing gear, a biplane stabilizer, and a canted Fenestron.

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Turbomeca’s Arrano Named Exclusive Engine on X4 Helo

By Douglas Royce, Forecast International

Airbus Helicopters has decided to make Turbomeca’s Arrano turboshaft the exclusive engine for its new twin-engine X4 helicopter, currently in development in France to replace the company’s popular EC 155/Dauphin model.

Airbus Helicopter X4

Airbus Helicopter X4

The Arrano is a new design in the 1,100- to 1,300-shp class. Turbomeca says the Arrano will offer a 10 to 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with previous-generation engines.  First bench testing of the Arrano took place in February 2014, and Turbomeca says that type certification for the engine will track the schedule of the X4 test program.

Airbus Helicopters once planned to offer two engines on the X4.  The alternative engine, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210, has been dropped because it is no longer considered powerful enough in the wake of design changes to the aircraft.