Boeing and Sikorsky have formed Boeing Sikorsky International Services (BSIS), a joint venture to support Saudi Arabia’s military helicopter fleet.
BSIS was launched at June’s Paris Air Show, with each partner holding a 50% share. It is providing logistics, supply chain management, maintenance, aircraft support and aircrew and maintenance staff training for Saudi Arabia’s growing fleet of helicopters purchased under the Foreign Military Sales program, and those that are already in service.
Under a Foreign Military Sales deal announced in October 2010, Saudi Arabia is buying 70 Boeing AH-64E Apaches and 72 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks. The Apaches will serve the Saudi Land Forces, the country’s National Guard and Royal Guard. The National Guard will use the Black Hawks. Saudi Land Forces already has a fleet of UH-60s and AH-64s that will also be maintained by BSIS.
A similar plan is already operating in the United Arab Emirates, where Sikorsky has partnered with Lockheed Martin and Mubadala Aerospace to run the Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center at Al Ain which looks after and sustains much of the UAE’s fixed wing and helicopter fleet.