Sikorsky open to partnerships in PH
Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of the the world’s biggest defense contractor, is open to partnerships here in the Philippines in a bid to enhance its supply chain and production, a top official said.
Jacob Sifers, company regional manager for business development, said the company was always looking for partnerships, citing the ties it had made in various parts of Asia.
“We are constantly looking for partnerships to enhance our supply chain and enhance our production. Whatever opportunities there may be, we are open to hearing them,” he said in a recent interview.
Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin company.
Both Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin participated for the first time in the Asian Defense, Security and Crisis Management Exhibition and Conference last month in Metro Manila.
Sifers cited the ties Sikorsky has had in different parts of Asia, such as a 65-year partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan to produce commercial and military helicopters.
Another example is Thailand, wherein Sikorsky authorized Thai Aviation Services to operate as the first Sikorsky Customer Support Center in that country, according to a recent company statement.
While he did not specify the potential ties the company could have here in the Philippines, this is not the first time that Lockheed Martin subsidiary worked with the country.
The country still has one unit of the first generation of Sikorsky’s famous Black Hawk helicopter, he said, which was acquired by the Philippines in the 1980s.
To date, there are more than 4,000 units of this aircraft across the globe, with the US Army being the largest market for this aircraft accounting for more than half of the entire supply, the company’s website said.
Sifers said this helicopter was “extremely applicable here in the Philippines,” as the company expressed its willingness to further strengthen its presence here through the aircraft.
While he deferred from giving a price range for the product, Black Hawk is a multirole helicopter, capable of switching platforms “within hours” from combat to medical evacuation or search and rescue.
“When [you] have things that come through like typhoons or what have you, when you need to get to difficult areas to do humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, this aircraft is ideal for that,” he said.
For its part, Lockheed Martin is also interested to do business with the Philippines by supplying the combat-proven fighter jet F-16, according to Randy Howard, director for business development at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Integrated Fighter Group.
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