The U.S. rotorcraft industry is heavily dependent on military funding, and at the moment two of the top three manufacturers aren’t so sure how reliable that funding will be in the future. First, the Army has awarded the contract to develop a Black Hawk successor to Bell/Textron, potentially signaling the demise of Sikorsky’s most important revenue source. Second, the service has not developed long-term plans for Apache and Chinook, its other two combat rotorcraft and the biggest revenue generators at Boeing Vertical. Third, the long-running V-22 tiltrotor production program is coming to an end. Bell/Textron is well-positioned going forward unless its award is overturned, but for the workforce at Boeing Vertical and Sikorsky, the future is looking ominous. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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