Pawan Hans leases six Sikorsky S-76D choppers for its operations - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.
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Thursday, 24 March 2022

Pawan Hans leases six Sikorsky S-76D choppers for its operations

Lockheed Martin is catching up with Boeing in penetrating India’s chopper market

 

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 25th March 22

 

Lockheed Martin – America’s and the world’s largest aerospace and defence firm – is giving stiff competition in the Indian helicopter market to its rival, Boeing. Boeing scored early with the multi-billion-dollar sale to the Indian Air Force (IAF) of Chinook heavy lift choppers and Apache attack helicopters. However, Lockheed Martin’s subsidiary, Sikorsky, is catching up fast with the $2.12 billion sale to the Indian Navy last year of 24 Seahawk multi-role maritime helicopters. 

 

On Thursday Sikorsky scored again. Providing a bright start to Wings India 2022 – India’s premier civil aviation air show, being held at Hyderabad from March 24-28 – Pawan Hans announced it had leased six Sikorsky S-76D helicopters from Milestone Aviation Group (Milestone), the global leader in helicopter leasing.

 

Pawan Hans, a government company under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), intends to use these helicopters to support onshore and offshore operations by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

 

Five of the six helicopters have already been delivered. Milestone and Sikorsky are also contracted to provide Pawan Hans with comprehensive logistics and sustainment packages to support the phasing-in of this new helicopter into its fleet.

 

Pawan Hans chief, Sanjeev Razdan, said: “In the medium twin (engine) category, the S-76D is the ideal aircraft to support our offshore operations in South Asia.The helicopter has been launched with a completely new maintenance and support philosophy by Pawan Hans.”

 

Welcoming Pawan Hans into the group of operators that fly Lockheed Martin choppers, Lockheed Martin India chief, Bill Blair, pronounced his company “thrilled that Pawan Hans is introducing the S-76D aircraft to the Indian market to perform critical offshore oil and gas transport missions.”

 

Blair said the inherent reliability of the S-76D combined with Sikorsky's support services will please the customers and are aligned with Lockheed Martin's focus on the Indian market.

 

The highly regarded Sikorsky S-76 helicopter has operated since 1977 in diverse environmental conditions in more than 40 countries on six continents. Sikorsky has delivered more than 875 S-76 helicopters to customers globally, contributing daily to a growing total of more than 7.5 million flight hours.

 

The S-76D helicopter is an improved version of the S-76, incorporating more modern technologies in order to provide a substantial increase in performance, power and value.

 

Since 1985, Pawan Hans has been India’s market leader in helicopter operations. Its fleet of 42 helicopters provides services to sectors such as oil and gas exploration, pipeline survey and aerial work, police and utility tasks, services to VIPs and state government.

 

Pawan Hans also provides passenger connectivity to remote, hilly and inaccessible areas along India’s northern and north-eastern borders. In addition it has provided inter-island connectivity in the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.


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