Defense manufacturing holding United Technologies Corporation is set to conduct “a review of strategic alternatives” for its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary, a manufacturer of helicopters of all sizes, gliders, light aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones.) UTC, which has Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems among its other subsidiaries, noted the strategic alternatives might include a tax-free spin-off of the Sikorsky business to current shareholders.
UTC president and CEO Gregory Hayes indicated the decision to separate Sikorsky had already been concluded, and that the strategic review process would determine "the best way to enhance its long-term success and create improved long-term value for UTC's customers and shareholders."
However, while UTC pledged to complete the strategic review before the end of the year, it added that no timetable has been set, and added there is “no assurance that a spinoff or any other transaction will take place.”
Sikorsky Aircraft Sikorsky was founded in New York in 1925 by aircraft engineer Igor Sikorsky, a Russian immigrant. In 1929 the company moved to Stratford, Conn., and became a part of United Aircraft and Transport Corp. oration (now United Technologies Corp.)
Sikorsky introduced the first stable, single-rotor helicopter for series production in 1942. That aircraft, the Sikorsky R-4, became the basis for most subsequent helicopter designs. Today, Sikorsky Aircraft designs and manufactures the UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, and numerous experimental helicopters. Since 1957 it has supplied Marine One, the Presidential helicopter fleet.
In addition, Sikorsky has subsidiaries of its own, including Sikorsky Global Helicopters, which produces civilian helicopters; Schweizer Aircraft, which produces small aircraft, like gliders and agricultural airplanes; and PZL Mielec, a Polish aircraft manufacturer.
Sikorsky is headquartered and has its main assembly operations in Stratford, Conn., with other plants in Shelton and Bridgeport, Conn.; Huntsville and Troy, Ala.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Fort Worth, Tex.
"Today, Sikorsky is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of military and commercial helicopter platforms. It has unmatched technological capabilities, outstanding people and a strong backlog," according to Hayes.
"Looking to the future, we are evaluating whether Sikorsky's unique business as a rotorcraft OEM with a predominately military customer base is best positioned as a stand-alone company, and whether a separation would allow United Technologies to better focus on providing high-technology systems and services to the aerospace and building industries," the president/CEO concluded.