By Ms Nicole Plascencia (AMC)October 13, 2011
Black Hawk production reached unprecedented levels this year at the Corpus Christi Army Depot due to an integral partnership with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Two years ago, the depot rolled out its initial A- L Recapitalized (Recap) Black Hawk conversion, last year CCAD produced 38 and this year the depot completed 48 Black Hawks that are now back in the fight.
"Our partnership with Sikorsky has allowed us to do many things that, before, were considered undoable. It's turning the impossible into reality," said Col. Christopher Carlile, Depot Commander.
The initial contract between Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and CCAD was signed in December 2002. Following the success of the first contract, AMCOM, CCAD, and Sikorsky renewed the partnership in 2008.
In addition, the depot has increased UH-60 Black Hawk blade production from 60 blades a month to 151 blades in August of this year.
As a result of CCAD's partnership with Sikorsky, the depot is currently able to maintain a 93% fill rate on aircraft requirements.
Sikorsky has engineering, field service representatives and material analysts on site working side by side with CCAD artisans to resolve issues as they arise.
"Through our Sikorsky Aerospace Services organization network we are able to reach out worldwide for any necessary assistance," said Marc Vece, Program Manager for CCAD Sikorsky Technical Engineering Logistical Support Services (TELSS) Program.
Through TELSS, Sikorsky provides the depot with technical, engineering, and logistical support services for military Black Hawks, and Pave Hawks at CCAD.
"With our long-term contract, we are able to forecast long lead material to support aircraft and component production needs," Vece added.
Sikorsky also shares its tech data with the depot which helps get the Black Hawks back to the fight even sooner.
"Had it not been for the partnership, these aircraft would not have been made possible," said Col. Carlile.
Through the Recap program the aircraft come in as A-model aircraft and leave after about 350 days at the depot, totally rebuilt, converted back into L-Models with more capability and power, and better flying.
The Recap program extends the life of an aircraft by ten years in like-new condition.
During CCAD's partnership with Sikorsky, the depot has more than doubled aircraft production from 28 in 2004 to more than 70 in 2011; tripled component production from 3,600 to 15,000; reduced repair turnaround time by 58% and reduced material costs by more than $10,000,000.
"It's in the best interest of our soldiers and we look forward to maintaining a partnership that's a win-win as much as possible," said Col. Carlile of the partnership.