The Lockheed Martin-subsidiary has achieved sustainment targets for the calendar year despite disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sikorsky Australia has issued an update to the market regarding its ongoing sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk fleet.
The company reported the achievement of key sustainment targets in spite of COVID-induced workforce and supply-chain disruptions.
The company undertook sustainment work of the depot level servicing line for the MH-60R fleet, reporting that all scheduled deeper maintenance events were completed in 2021.
This included the first of the complex modifications to add an avionics upgrade to the fleet.
During the calendar year, over $450,000 of component maintenance and repair work was distributed to local SMEs, which according to Sikorsky Australia, has contributed $64 million to the Shoalhaven region since 2019.
An increase in strategic sustainment logistics fleet support of 25 per cent has also been noted.
Additionally, over 50 Sikorsky Australia aviation technicians completed training, familiarisation and quality assurance courses on MH-60R sustainment since achieving Aircraft Maintenance Training Organisation accreditation through the Defence Aviation Safety Authority in November 2020.
The company’s workforce in Nowra also increased, with a further 14 roles introduced, taking the total to 195 in 2021.
The workforce was supported by four apprentices and trainees onboarded throughout the year, increasing the cohort to 14.
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“We are 100 per cent committed to nurturing local talent in the Shoalhaven region by providing exciting career opportunities to develop advanced skills in aircraft maintenance to boost Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities,” Malcolm Wright, general manager of Sikorsky Australia, said.
Going forward, Sikorsky Australia plans to embed 10 aviation technicians within the RAN’s MH-60R Seahawk 725 and 816 Squadrons at HMAS Albatross by December 2024.
These technicians will be expected to conduct specialised activities, including deeper level component repair, complex airframe repairs, advanced avionics repairs and fault finding.
“The deepening of the through-life-sustainment partnership with the RAN demonstrates Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in action,” Wright added.
“Our Sikorsky Australia aviation technicians are working hand-in-glove with the RAN to further integrate aviation skills and expertise across the team.
“The reciprocal knowledge transfer will further increase with Sikorsky Australia aviation technicians being embedded with the RAN’s MH-60R Seahawk Squadrons.”
He concluded: “Ultimately the expanded partnership strengthens the overall platform knowledge within the MH-60R enterprise in Australia, therefore enhancing the RAN’s ability to protect Australia.”
[Related: Sikorsky Australia appoints new GM]