Cobham has been awarded a contract from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to manufacture advanced composite components and assemblies for the main rotor blades of the United States Marine Corps' CH-53K Heavy Lift Replacement Helicopter under development by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

Cobham’s Antenna Systems unit, under which all composites operations have now been consolidated, will manufacture all leading and trailing edge details, and precisely locate and bond the details onto the main rotor blade spar. Depending on how many CH-53K helicopters are eventually built by Sikorsky for the US Marine Corps, the contract could be worth up to US$25 M.

Work under this contract will be done initially at Cobham’s San Diego, CA facility, then will transition to full-scale production at the company’s new composite manufacturing facility in Suffolk, VA, which is scheduled to become operational in early 2010.

“This is an anchor program for our business with Sikorsky, and establishes Cobham’s composites business as a supplier to three United Technologies Corp. subsidiaries,” said Fred Cahill, Vice President of Cobham Antenna Systems.