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Following Sagem’s name change to Safran, I always have the song Mellow Yellow playing in my head when I hear the French company’s name, but now I have another tune in my head when I think about the replacement of Sea King helicopters. Canadian Sea King pilots have rewritten Seasons in the Sun to include the following lyrics:Goodbye papa, please pray for meMy helicopter’s crashing in the seaWe had joy, we had fun, we had Sea Kings in the sunBut the engines are on fire and the Sea Kings must retireSikorsky photo of CycloneCanadian Forces are replacing their Sea Kings with the Sikorsky Cyclone and the US helicopter manufacturer is teaming up with Rheinmetall and other German companies to offer the Cyclone as a replacement of German navy Sea Kings.The German Multi-Role Helicopter Team has been formed to compete with NATO Helicopter Industries, producer of the NH90, to offer 30 helicopters to replace German Sea Kings. Under the proposal, Sikorsky would produce the aircraft but final assembly would be conducted by RUAG in Oberpfaffenhofen, Bavaria, MTU would maintain and repair the GE CT7 ‐8A7 engines, and Rheinmetall would be responsible for integrated service support and would provide training and simulation. Mike Schmidt, Rheinmetall’s vice president of sales, flight simulation, estimates the proposal, if successful, could create 1,000 or more high tech jobs in Germany.For Sikorsky, a successful bid for the German Sea King replacement would mean another foot in the European door. In 2007, the company took over PZL Mielec of Poland, which is producing the S-70i version of the Black Hawk, and its cooperation agreement with Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic, which is producing S-76 airframes. Edward V. Nakas, director of Sikorsky Europe, sees further industrial cooperation opportunities in Europe with the CH-53K to meet German and other European countries’ requirements for a new future heavy lift helicopter.
ar99, Sikorsky, Germany
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