Hyderabad, April 2:
The Tata-Sikorsky S-92 helicopter cabin manufacturing facility in Hyderabad is doubling production to 26 units annually from this month. The global demand for these machines is growing.
Also, within a year, the facility will be using indigenous components, as the joint venture firm's new component manufacturing facility here commenced production last month. Currently, the cabins made here are fitted with all components produced by Sikorsky-Mitsubishi's Japan facility, which is being closed down in a phased manner as the Hyderabad facility reaches full capacity within a year.
“We will be doubling our production from 12 units to 26 units from this month. Subsequently, we will scale it up to 36 units,” Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Arvind Walia, told media persons at the production site on the outskirts of Hyderabad today.
Sikorsky, which holds 26 per cent stake in the joint venture, will be using this facility as the sole supplier of cabins for its global manufacture of S-92 choppers. The US-based copter maker, which delivered 160 S-92 choppers so far, expects to sell some 120 units globally over the next two years.
It recently signed orders for delivery of 16 S-92 machines for offshore operations in the UK and another 28 modified units for the Canadian Navy. Cabins account for a “significant share” in the basic cost of S-92 choppers —$20-$ 22 million apiece.
The facility will get a boost from this month, as the new component making unit in the same premises started production last month. “The new facility will be making some 4,000 different components for the S-92 copters, apart from the other models of Sikorsky,” Air Marshal Walia said.
Sikorsky finds benefits such as costs, operational flexibility and closer to emerging markets by replacing its Japanese component units with the Hyderabad facility.