Will Sikorsky Win $6.8B Air Force Deal?

Zacks Equity Research

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of diversified business conglomerate United Technologies Corp. (UTX), is likely to receive a $6.8 billion order from the U.S. Air Force under its combat rescue helicopter (CRH) program. However, the contract is contingent to the outcome of the budgetary review process of the President, wherein huge budget cuts are expected to take place in the defense program.

A Reuters report has claimed that top officials from the US Air Force have revealed that the CRH program is likely to have the least priority and faces the risks of budget cuts with a challenging macroeconomic environment. However, the US Air Force had been desperately trying to replace its Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters for a long time and this could have been an opportune time to substitute an aging fleet with a newer one to hone its combat forces.

Sikorsky is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of military and commercial helicopters. It also provides aftermarket helicopter and aircraft parts and services for its parent company United Technologies. At present, major production programs at Sikorsky include the UH-60M Black Hawk medium-transport helicopters and HH-60M Medevac helicopters for the U.S. and foreign governments, the S-70 Black Hawk for foreign governments, the MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters for the U.S. Navy, the International Naval Hawk for multiple naval missions, and the S-76 and S-92 helicopters for commercial operations.

Based in Hartford, CT, United Technologies provides high-end technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company is a diversified business conglomerate serving various end markets such as aerospace, defense and commercial construction. The business diversification allows United Technologies to remain profitable amid tough economic times.

The operations of the company are primarily classified into two principal businesses: commercial and aerospace. Under its commercial business, the company has Otis and the UTC Climate, Controls & Security division, which combined the former Carrier and UTC Fire & Security divisions. The aerospace business of the company consists of Sikorsky aircraft and the UTC Propulsion & Aerospace Systems, which includes UTC Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney divisions.

United Technologies presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other notable companies in the industry include ITT Corp. (ITT), Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HUWHY), and Tyco International Ltd. (TYC), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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