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Lockheed Martin launches Team Black Hawk for UK’s New Medium Helicopter requirement

Lockheed Martin Press Release | September 12, 2023

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 54 seconds.

The European-built Black Hawk helicopter. Lockheed Martin outlined its team of U.K. partners and the benefits of choosing the advanced, Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter to replace the U.K.’s aging mixed medium helicopter fleet. Lockheed Martin Photo

At the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition, Lockheed Martin announced its intention to participate in the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement.

It outlined its team of U.K. partners and the benefits of choosing the advanced, Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter to replace the U.K.’s aging mixed medium helicopter fleet. Lockheed Martin also outlined its plan to collaborate with those U.K. partners to create a multitude of opportunities for U.K. industry, including jobs and opportunities in export, manufacturing and future technology development. 

Lockheed Martin estimates nearly 40 percent of total Black Hawk production and assembly will occur in the U.K. and will support, on average, 660 U.K. jobs a year between 2025 and 2030.

The plan also creates approximately £470 million of export opportunities for U.K. partners manufacturing sub-systems and components over the next 10 years, equivalent to 40 percent of the Total Programme Value, based on the expected export market to Black Hawk customers.

The company’s estimate includes ongoing fleet sustainment that will support approximately 320 jobs a year for decades to come when the U.K. Black Hawk fleet is in-service.

On announcing Lockheed Martin UK’s proposal, chief executive Paul Livingston said:

“The newest generation of the Black Hawk is proven, versatile and ready now. It’s not only the right choice for U.K. Defence, it’s the right choice for U.K. industry and it will create a generation of high-skilled jobs here in Britain.”

Furthermore, U.K. participation in the Black Hawk programme would open the door for U.K. industry to take part in the development and production of Lockheed Martin’s next generation rotorcraft solutions, creating a potential 45-year pipeline of work and exports for U.K. companies.

Creating jobs in the UK

As part of today’s Team Black Hawk announcement, Lockheed Martin formally signed a teaming agreement with Gosport-based StandardAero as Team Black Hawk’s aircraft assembly, testing, delivery, maintenance and integration partner for U.K.-unique equipment and systems, which will bring highly skilled jobs to an economically deprived area of the U.K.

StandardAero in Gosport will be the home of the Black Hawk in the U.K. and together with Lockheed Martin, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company in Denham, Curtiss-Wright in Christchurch, Chelton in Marlow, Inzspire in Lincoln, C3iA Solutions in Poole, Nova Systems in Filton, and Ascent Flight Training and CAE at RAF Benson, will create 660 high-skilled jobs and decades of U.K. workshare through the U.K. Black Hawk’s lifecycle.

“StandardAero is delighted to be teaming with Lockheed Martin U.K. on this once-in-a-generation helicopter program. For StandardAero U.K. it will mean upwards of 175 new, highly skilled, jobs in one of the more economically deprived local areas of the U.K., with many more throughout our U.K.-based supply chain,” said Simon Jones, StandardAero Group managing director, Europe.

The Black Hawk will be assembled in the U.K. to meet the MOD’s specific requirements by a team of industrial partners including StandardAero. Lockheed Martin examined all potential partners for the assembly aspect of Black Hawk in the U.K. and concluded that StandardAero was the most experienced and capable partner.

The Black Hawk fleet will sustain U.K. jobs across the nation, including areas where levelling up is a critical need. In addition to providing a proven, advanced, affordable and interoperable helicopter platform that delivers unparalleled performance to the MOD, Lockheed Martin will fulfill provisions of the contract with its U.K. industry partners for robust training capabilities, maintenance and spares packages, component integration, as well as overall programme management.

Today’s announcement comes as Lockheed Martin and its competitors await the MOD’s formal issuance of the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN).

This press release was prepared and distributed by Lockheed Martin.

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