The Army is expected to select a successor for its venerable Black Hawk helicopter in September. Depending on which team wins, the impact on the rotorcraft industrial base could be profound. The reason is that one of the two teams competing, the Boeing-Sikorsky team, has built 90% of all the rotorcraft in the current Army fleet. Or said differently, most of the rotorcraft design and production capacity in the U.S. is concentrated on that team. Thus, if the team fails to prevail, there will be huge jobs consequences at the three industrial sites where the two companies build their helicopters. The impact will be exacerbated by the fact that all the other major rotorcraft programs at the sites are expected to cease production by the end of the decade. The Black Hawk successor thus largely defines the future of the domestic rotorcraft sector. If the Boeing-Sikorsky team falters, many thousands of jobs could disappear. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: