Eurocopter recently reported its 2009 figures, and offered forecasts for 2010. While Robinson is far and away the leading global helicopter builder by numbers, Eurocopter is generally accepted as the #1 firm when measures include order value, competition across multiple major segments, etc. This makes their fate and forecasts an interesting bellwether for the sector.
In general, the global economic crisis has hammered the civil market for light helicopters, and the firm sees continuing weakness and further production scale-backs in 2010. On the other hand, the firm is seeing a significant uptick in military orders (48% of sales in 2009), thanks to the demands of counter-insurgency warfare, and the natural aging and replacement cycle drive new purchases around the world.
2009 civilian and military orders were placed for 344 production helicopters as follows:
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL received a $245 million contract to produce 160 AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM). The contract include both baseline and extended range missiles to support the US Air Force and Foreign Military Sales customers.
The AGM-158 JASSM is intended to be a stealthy, inexpensive cruise missile that would let American aircraft attack well-defended targets – without putting them in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems.
Harris IT Services received a 5-year, $26 million contract to provide managed IT services to the US Air National Guard (ANG) Network and Regional Operations and Security Centers (ROSCs).
The Air National Guard is consolidating its IT infrastructure from 11 ROSCs across the United States into a centrally managed hub. Harris team members include TechTeam Government Solutions and NetApp.
The 1-year base-period contract with 4 one-year options includes Tier III technical support for enterprise IT systems such as applications, infrastructure, vulnerability assessment, directory services, boundary protection and messaging. Tier III technical support, also known as back-end or high-end support, involves handling advanced IT problems and using expert-level troubleshooting and analytic methods.
Elbit Systems of America, a Fort Worth, TX-based subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, received a $15.6 million contract from US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to supply Tactical Video Data Link (TVDL) systems for the US Marine Corps’ AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter.
The TVDL will provide helicopter pilots with live UAV video and targeting information combined with the ability to retransmit UAV and on-board sensor video to other aircraft and ground forces. The TVDL system weighs less than 8.5 lbs. The systems are planned to be operational in USMC AH-1W helicopters by the end of FY 2010…