Maritime Helicopter Support Co. has had its support for the U.S. Navy’s H-60 aircraft extended through 2020, a $2-billion contract for the Lockheed Martin Corp./Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. joint venture. MHSCo would continue to repair, overhaul, modify and procure 1,710 airframe and avionics components for repairing and modifying the H-60 series aircraft.
The MHSCo venture was formed by Lockheed and Sikorsky in 2001 to develop, manufacture, and support the U.S. Navy's H-60 fleet, which includes the MH-60R anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters; and the MH-60S "Sierra" multi-mission helicopter used for safety, supply, and other support needs.
In addition to the Navy, the helicopters are used by the U.S. Coast Guard and the navies of Australia, Denmark, and Thailand, among other countries.
The new order from the Navy continues the “fixed-price, performance-based logistics contract” format that has been in place up ‘til now, and calls for MHSCo to provide repair, modification, overhaul and replacement of hardware, and to manufacture new materials for the aircraft.
Under the performance-based format, the joint venture is not paid for the number and type of repairs it performs but by flight hours that the aircraft achieve, a format that reportedly incentivizes MHSCo to continue introducing product and process improvements that will improve it performance rating. For example, in recent years the venture has invested $140 million to improve and develop replacement parts and products, and has reduced logistics response time by 45 days.
The new contract will cover work to be completed on the helicopters through January 31, 2020.